Canada has provided the culinary world with some good stuff, such as maple syrup, Poutine (fries smothered with cheese and gravy, I am not really a fan but a ton of people swear by it!), and Nanaimo Bars. The last one I recently heard about. Named after the town in British Columbia, Nanaimo Bars are the unofficial bar cookie of Canada! They start with an amazing base of cocoa, graham crackers, nuts, and coconut. That gets topped with a cream filling, then finally a thick layer of chocolate. I mean, really, how can you go wrong with a description like that??
After hearing about these bars, I knew I had to try them. We were heading oot as they say in Canada for a BBQ todayand I thought this would be the perfect treat to bring along! They definitely were! Everyone loved them. They were rich, creamy and chocolatey, with great texture from the pecans and coconut. Way to go, Canada! 🙂
Here is the recipe adapted from Sunset magazine:
Active Time: 20 minutes; Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
Yield: 25 small bars
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature – separated into 3 chunks: leave 1 stick whole and the other split into a 6T piece and a 2T piece
- 2 1/4C powdered sugar – separated into 2 bowls: 1/4C and 2C
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4C graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full-size graham cracker sheets)
- 1C sweetened flaked dried coconut
- 1/2C finely chopped pecans
- 1/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2T milk
- 1T vanilla
- 1/4C semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 1oz (about 1/8C) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the 6 tablespoons butter; let cool.
2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat melted butter, the 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and the egg until well blended. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans, and cocoa powder.
3. Press dough evenly into a buttered and floured 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the 1/2 cup butter, remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, the milk, and the vanilla until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled crust.
5. In the same saucepan used earlier, over very low heat, stir the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the chocolate until melted. Spread over filling.
6. Cover and chill until the filling is firm enough to cut neatly, at least 2 hours. Cut into 25 squares (yes, this doesn’t sound like very many, but trust me they are pretty rich so little bars are perfect!).