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Nanaimo Bars

It is December 20 and I am wrapping a gift for a little boy whose family has been chosen for Christmas giving by the church I am attending.  I also bought a jar of Herbes de Provence for Grizelda, a friend of my housesit hosts.  She loved my chicken with roasted carrots flavoured with the herbes.  I happened upon them and thought it would be a nice hostess gift when I go to their home.

But now I am thinking about Remonia & Rick and Ersie.  They have been such good friends during my stay and I didn't even think of giving them a Christmas gift. 

I want to make something truly Canadian that they will like.  How did Nanaimo Bars come into my brain?  I don't think I have made them since I was a teenager.  But I know they will be enjoyed down here in the South.  If I didn't know better, I would think this came right from Paula Deen, lots of sugar and butter, but this recipe is truly from Nanaimo, British Columbia

Nanaimo Bars
Adapted from Joyce Hardcastle

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a double boiler and heat until melted. Slowly drizzle the hot mixture into the beaten egg, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and coconut. Press the mixture firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ baking pan and chill.
Middle Layer
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tbsp whipping cream
2 tbsp vanilla pudding powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream together the butter, cream, vanilla pudding powder and icing sugar until light. Spread over bottom layer and chill.
Top Layer
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat. Once cool but still liquid, pour over middle layer and chill in refrigerator until set, about an hour.

Cut into squares using a knife dipped in hot water. For easier (and neater!) pieces, dip the pan very briefly in hot water and then turn out onto a cutting board. Flip over using a second cutting board and cut into squares.


  1. Too funny - I'm making these this week too. You can take the Calgarian out of Canada, but she isn't going to forget about the Nanaimo Bars. Hope you have a super Christmas!

  2. Nanaimo Bars are a favourite around here. Have a wonderful holiday season!!!!!

  3. I've never heard of these, but they sound wonderful!

  4. They are always a hit! But cut very small squares - they are very rich.

  5. Amazing! I fancy at how they look, so chocolaty! They could have been perfect last Christmas, if only I found them earlier.

  6. Looks really lovely - I like how they seem to perfectly set.

  7. Been trying to cook this but to NO avail! I can't get it right.

  8. Ping Post - that's too bad! What is your problem/s? It is imperative to chill each layer before adding the next. Give me more info and I'll help you.

  9. I have to try your recipe, it sounds easy to make. I tried once a different recipe but it was a total failure. Thanks for sharing it with us and have a great evening.


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