Inspired by Alicia, who's been holidaying in my neck of the woods, I decided to make Nanaimo Bars today. This is usually just a Christmas thing as they are truly the most calorie and fat dense food on earth, they mess up the kitchen and they are so tasty that you're guaranteed to eat too many and get a stomach ache, but after reading the post on Posie Gets Cozy I just had to have them and David didn't argue even though it meant he had to start his Sunday by going to the grocery store. Either it doesn't take much to get me thinking about Nanaimo Bars or Alicia has a lot of influence on me, since just last night I was
whining and complaining discussing with David that going to the gym isn't enough and I needed to start getting serious about saying no to the treats. I guess I'll start exercising my willpower after the Nanaimo Bars are gone. Maybe David should take some to work with him tomorrow. Extra points for him and less temptation for me...
The recipe for Nanaimo Bars comes from my Nanny. It was one of her specialties, and even though they're expensive and rather a pain to make, they truly are best homemade. The binder is her recipe book, which is the third thing I'd save in a fire after David and the cats. I love to look at her beautiful handwriting and remember opening this book and cooking with her. We always talked about organizing all the random slips of paper, cuttings from magazines and notes written on envelopes, but I'm glad we never got around to it.
4 squares semi sweet chocolate
I cup butter
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups graham wafer crumbs
2 cups fine coconut, unsweetened
Optional: 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup soft butter
9 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons Bird's Custard Powder
6 cups icing sugar
8 squares semi sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
Base: Melt butter and chocolate together then cool slightly. Stir in vanilla and eggs. Add graham crumbs, sugar and coconut and mix well to combine. Press firmly into a lightly greased 9 by 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 16 to 20 minutes. Chill until completely cold before adding the filling.
Filling: Combine butter, milk and custard powder. Using a hand mixer, blend in icing sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread evenly over cooled base and chill for 15 minutes.
Glaze: Melt butter and chocolate until smooth, pour over and spread to edges.
Note: The Nanaimo Bar in the photo is thicker than yours will be as I don't have a 9 by 13 pan and had to use a smaller one.
Another Note: Scoring the chocolate before it is completely set will make the bars easier to cut once they are completely firmed up.
David is actually from Nanaimo and he declares these the best Nanaimo Bars he's ever eaten. I asked him if where he's from they just call them "Bars" but he gave me that look and never answered.