Nanaimo Bars

A Canadian invention, this tray-bake is great for holidays and get-togethers.

City Style and Living Magazine Made With Love Nanaimo Bars
/ Aimee Twigger

A Canadian invention, this tray-bake is great for holidays and get-togethers.

Makes 16 bars
Prep time: Base layer 10 minutes; middle and top layers 5 minutes each
Baking time: 10 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling

For the base layer
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 cups graham cracker or vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup shredded coconut
6½ oz (13 tablespoons) butter

For the middle layer
9 oz (18 tablespoons) butter
2–3 teaspoons milk or cream
1½ tablespoons custard powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the top layer
3½ oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon butter

For the base layer: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the baking tin with baking paper.

Chop the walnuts and crush the biscuits in a food processor and pulse until you get a fine crumb mixture. Add the cocoa, sugar, vanilla extract and coconut (see figure 1) and pulse to combine. Melt the butter, add it to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Press the mixture into the baking tin (see figure 2) and bake for 10 minutes. The mixture will rise a little, so press it back down as soon as you remove the tray from the oven. Allow it to cool and form a solid base.

/ Aimee Twigger

For the middle layer: Whisk the ingredients for the middle layer together until smooth, then spread over the cooled base layer (see figure 3). Refrigerate for 30 minutes before making the top layer.

For the top layer: Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Pour the melted chocolate over the middle layer (see figure 4) and refrigerate for 30 minutes, then slice and enjoy.

/ Aimee Twigger

1. ADD cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract and coconut and pulse to combine.

2. PRESS the mixture into the baking tin.

3. SMOOTH the cream mixture over the base.

4. SMOOTH the chocolate layer over the cream.

Photographs and text by Aimee Twigger from Made With Love. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

This original recipe first appeared in the Winter 2017/18 issue of City Style and Living Magazine

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