Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Nanaimo Bars

...otherwise known as crack. Warning: these things are seriously addicting! Everytime I make them I always end up eating a quarter of the pan. They have a delicious combo of crunchy, dense bottom, creamy center, and chocolatey top. Even though they're called bars, they're actually more like fudge, so cut the squares smallish (1"x1"). They're also labor-intensive (3 hrs in the fridge, between stages) but very very worth while. All told, this currently stands as my favorite dessert recipe!

Recipe from
* 1/2 unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/4 granulated white sugar
* 1/3 unsweetened cocoa
* 1 large egg, beaten
* 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
* 2 graham cracker crumbs
* 1 c coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened)
* 1/2 c walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

* 1/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 - 3 tbsp milk or cream
* 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder (Bird's) or vanilla pudding powder
* 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
* 2 c powdered sugar

* 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
* 1 tbsp unsalted butter

-Note: I have always found I've needed to double or even triple the ingredients for the topping, but you can always start with the above and make more if need be.

Bottom Layer:
In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 - 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

In your electric mixer cream the butter. Beat in the remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Cool until lukewarm but still maleable. Spread over the filling and refrigerate.

To prevent the chocolate from cracking, use a sharp knife and bring the squares to room temperature before cutting.

No comments: