Oh Canada! Classic Nanaimo Bar Recipe

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Nanaimo Bars are a Canadian classic! Decadent, sweet, creamy and delicious dessert bars from our neighbors to the north. I first discovered the Nanaimo Bar recipe from an Internet friend from Canada who clued me on as the perfect Christmas dessert (or anytime of the year!)

The Canadian Nanaimo Bar is a bar dessert with a graham cracker, coconut, chocolate crust topped with a layer of custard and then a layer of chocolate which equals yummy to me.

Close up of the Nanaimo Bars recipe.

How To Make Nanaimo Bars

Ingredients

6 oz.  Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I used Tollhouse semi sweet chocolate chips)

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp.vanilla

2 cups graham crumbs

1 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

2 tablespoons Bird’s Custard Powder (double if you love a custard layer)

3 tablespoons milk

2 cups confectioners sugar

This dessert is not difficult to make, but it does take time as there the layers must set in the refrigerator.

Oh Canada! The Nanaimo Bar is the classic Canadian treat. Who doesn't love custard in a dessert bar!

Directions

  1. Oven temperature 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9 inch square dish with parchment paper.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl melt 1/3 rd or 2 ounces of the chocolate with 1/2 cup of butter until the butter is melted. All microwaves differ especially when melting chocolate. I usually begin with 30 seconds and increase the intervals by 15 seconds until the chocolate and butter have melted.
  4. Add vanilla and eggs into the bowl. Mix.
  5. Add nuts, graham crackers and coconut. Gently mix.
  6. This will form the Nanaimo crust. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and gently press to form the bottom crust.
  7. Bake at 8 minutes.
  8. Cool.
  9. Now make the custard layer. (I double the custard powder and milk as I love a thick custard layer.)
  10. Add the milk and custard powder to the bowl and whisk.
  11. Add 1/4 cup of the softened butter and mix.
  12. Add the sugar gradually and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  13. Spoon on top of the cooled crust.
  14. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
  15. Now make the third layer.
  16. Microwave 4 ounces of chocolate and 1 tablespoon of butter until melted and smooth.
  17. Remove the Nanaimo crust from the refrigerator and spread on top.
  18. Refrigerate a few hours until the Nanaimo Bars have set.
  19. Cut into small servings as this is a very sweet dessert.

Canadian Nanaimo Bar Tips

Doubling the custard added a nice layer of custard in the bar. I highly recommend the pan is lined with parchment paper for ease of clean up and ease of cutting the bar once set. Next time I would also try decreasing the sugar as recommended by the reviewers.

The final verdict! The Nanaimo was worth the wait of waiting for the delivery of the custard powder. The bar is very rich so one bar does go along way. I loved the custard filling in the middle of the dessert bar and was glad I doubled the custard filling. The most difficulty I had was tracking down custard powder versus making the dessert bar.

After a little research I found recipes for mint Nanaimo Bars, Jello Nanaimo Bars, peanut butter Nanaimo bars which I will be interested in trying in the future. I am adding the Nanaimo Bar Recipe to my list of Christmas Cookie Bars.

Where To Find Bird’s Custard Powder

Bird's Custard Powder for your custard recipes.My first road block into gathering the ingredients for the Nanaimo Bar was finding custard powder. I love custard and the image of a custard layer in the Nanaimo image was enticing enough. I checked the specialty stores and struck out.

I read reports on the internet of Kroger and Cost Plus carrying custard powder and strike 2 and 3. I considered driving to Canada … which actually is not that far flung for those of us in border states and fairly common.

Slightly deterred, but still on the hunt for Bird’s Custard Powder I of course utilized our friend in a time of need  (aka as Amazon Prime) and struck custard powder gold. Yeah!

I’m looking forward to using this new ingredient in my repertoire for more goodies!

 

Nanaimo Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Nanaimo Bars
Prep Time 1 hour
Setting time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Author The Savvy Age

Ingredients

  • 6 oz.  Semi-Sweet Chocolate I used Tollhouse semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp.vanilla
  • 2 cups graham crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts I used pecans
  • 2 tablespoons Bird's Custard Powder double if you love a custard layer
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions

  • Oven temperature 350 degrees.
  • Line a 9 inch square dish with parchment paper.
  • In a microwave safe bowl melt 1/3 rd or 2 ounces of the chocolate with 1/2 cup of butter until the butter is melted. All microwaves differ especially when melting chocolate. I usually begin with 30 seconds and increase the intervals by 15 seconds until the chocolate and butter have melted.
  • Add vanilla and eggs into the bowl. Mix.
  • Add nuts, graham crackers and coconut. Gently mix.
  • This will form the Nanaimo crust. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and gently press to form the bottom crust.
  • Bake at 8 minutes.
  • Cool.
  • Now make the custard layer. (I double the custard powder and milk as I love a thick custard layer.)
  • Add the milk and custard powder to the bowl and whisk.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the softened butter and mix.
  • Add the sugar gradually and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  • Spoon on top of the cooled crust.
  • Refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
  • Now make the third layer.
  • Microwave 4 ounces of chocolate and 1 tablespoon of butter until melted and smooth.
  • Remove the Nanaimo crust from the refrigerator and spread on top.
  • Refrigerate a few hours until the Nanaimo Bars have set.

Notes

Cut into small servings as this is a very sweet dessert.

 

7 Days Of Christmas Dessert Recipes

Day One: Scrumptious Hello Dolly Bars

Day Two: Original Fantasy Fudge Recipe (not the imitation!)

Day Three: Top 3 Christmas Crack recipes

Day Four: Frozen Hot Chocolate

Day Five: Nanaimo Bars

Day Six: Christmas Puffcorn

Day Seven: DIY Christmas Vegetable Tree

 

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