Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nanaimo Bars!

In all it's heavenly glory!

So, today I had the biggest urge to bake, but I didn't know what. I usually get suckered into the whole chocolate chip cookies, brownie kind of thing. But today, I wanted something more. For me, baking isn't about the end result, but really about the whole process. I love getting the counter messy, I love all the ingredients and how they go from nothing to something amazing! More importantly, I love that I was the one who made it. Homemade stuff is always so much better than store bought crap stuff.

So I'm here to share with you wonderful people the process and the recipe. It's a really simple recipe that doesn't require an oven at all! It's all about cooling each layer in the fridge. But remember, I can't take full credit for this recipe. The recipe was found at The Joy of Baking website.

Let's start, shall we?


Bottom Layer:

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (200 grams) graham cracker crumbs

1 cup (65 grams) coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened)

1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped


1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter room temperature

2 - 3 tablespoons milk or cream

2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (Bird's) or vanilla pudding powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (230 grams) powdered sugar (confectioners or icing) sugar


4 ounces (115 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter

Bottom Layer:
1) Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan.
2) Mix in the cocoa, sugar and gradually stir in the egg.
3) You want to continue to cook it, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. It took me about 2 minutes to get it to the desired thickness.
4) Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts (it works really well with walnuts!).
5) When ready, press the mixture into the pan evenly.
6) Cover it with saran wrap and put it in the refrigerator until it's firm and cool. This took about a good hour to get it right.


1) With an electric mixer cream the butter.
2) Beat in the remaining ingredients.
3) The mixture can come out to thick to spread on the bottom layer. If this happens add a bit more milk.
4) Spread the filing over the bottom layer and cover it. You'll want to stick it back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes until it's firm.

1) In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter over a saucepan of simmering water.
2) Spread over the filling and refrigerate.
3) TIP: The recipe only calls for 1 tbsp. of butter, but I need a lot more than that. I added about another 1/4 cup and it worked great!

Yields: About 25.

NOTE: For best results when serving, let the bars come to room temperature. This way the chocolate is less likely to crack when cutting.

Damn, those things are good! I'm surprised we have any left, but they were only made a few hours ago. I have to give my family some credit I suppose.

This recipe was really easy to make and I loved that I didn't have to put anything in the oven. 95% of the time, the oven is where I go wrong with a recipe. I did notice that when making the bottom layer, the mixture splattered a lot. I don't know why. Perhaps it was my crazy stirring hands?

But in all honesty, this recipe is very delicious and I highly recommend it. Except for having to wait for the layers to cool, this recipe is very simple and extremely worth the wait!





  1. Wow, so glad to see this recipe, it's very close to my family's recipe. This is the way my mom taught me to make them. The difference is, we make the top layer from cocoa powder and melted butter, instead of choc chips. Our way, the square is not so sickeningly sweet. I can't stand store bought squares because they are soooooo sweet! These ones are soooo much better!

  2. I agree! I found that compared to the store bought ones they are rich, but as overly sweet! They are definitely better than anything store bought! : )

  3. This recipe is just like the nanaimo bars my mom used to make. The filling MUST be made with Bird's custard or they just don't taste the same. I never buy nanaimo bars, I will only eat them if I know that they are homemade.

    This is a great recipe for when you want something chocolatey and yummy but it's too hot to turn on the oven. Also a good recipe to teach kids since you don't have to worry about them around the oven.

  4. I've never tried it with the Bird's custard, I just used no name vanilla pudding powder. But I'll definitely try that type next time.

    As for being great for kids, I was thinking the exact same thing. The oven is always a bad place to have kids around. Too much could go wrong :S

    PS. In my first comment I meant to say that "compared to the store bought ones they are rich, but NOT as overly sweet!"


I love you all for reading! Your support means everything!

If you have any questions regarding recipes, posts, or use of photographs, whip up some buttercream, then send me an e-mail: kitchenkarate(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You shouldn't have to wait too long for a reply. I'm a computer fiend!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...