Nanaimo Bars

Experience a classic Canadian delicacy with these Nanaimo Bars! With a crunchy, nutty base, creamy vanilla center, and a rich chocolate topping, these bars are the epitome of dessert perfection. Originating from British Columbia, they've become a favorite treat all over the world. Perfect for holiday gatherings or just a sweet afternoon indulgence, these bars showcase the delightful combination of coconut, chocolate, and creamy vanilla - a trio that's hard to resist.

Ingredients

Bottom Layer

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)

Middle Layer

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Top Layer

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 teaspoons butter

Instructions

For the Bottom Layer: Start by setting up a double boiler on your stovetop. In the top section, combine your butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. As they melt together, stir occasionally until you have a smooth mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs. Gradually incorporate about 1/2 cup of your melted cocoa mix into the eggs to temper them. This ensures your eggs don’t scramble. Once tempered, slowly whisk the egg mixture back into the rest of the cocoa blend. Continue stirring on the heat until you achieve a thicker consistency, which should take around 2-3 minutes. Now, fold in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and optionally, the almonds. Line your 13x9x2-inch pan with parchment paper for easier removal later on and firmly press the mixture into the pan, ensuring a flat, even layer.

For the Middle Layer: Using an electric mixer or by hand, cream your butter, heavy cream, and pudding powder together until you achieve a light and fluffy texture. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, ensuring there are no lumps. Once mixed, spread this creamy layer over your bottom layer and place it in the fridge to set.

For the Top Layer: In a microwave-safe bowl or on low heat on the stovetop, melt your semisweet chocolate and butter. Ensure you’re stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Once melted and combined, spread this chocolaty goodness over your chilled middle layer. Allow the chocolate to cool and set slightly, but before it fully solidifies, use a sharp knife to score the top. This will make cutting into bars easier later on. Makes 32 bars.

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