Why are these Nanaimo bars extra-chocolatey? Because the bottom layer (that scrumptiousness made of cookies, coconut, and nuts) is made with CHOCOLATE graham crackers! And of course, I made my own (although you could buy store-bought) simply because I prefer to have as fresh ingredients as possible.Oh, and I made my chocolate graham crackers with whole wheat flour, to increase the fibre content. I’m sure that balances out all the butter and sugar, right? M’kay.
I did write in the post title, that this recipe was to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday (yes, Canada as a nation is only 150 years old!), but I would be remiss if I didn’t address the fact that Canada is built on someone else’s land: that of the First Nations people. I don’t know what the solution is. Obviously after 150 years, all non-native peoples are not going to go back to the lands of their genetic heritage, but at the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that there are problems with how the First Nations people have been treated, both historically (residential schools) and currently (the appalling state of some of the reserves in the Canadian north). There’s no easy answer, and I have no insights that others do not. Addressing social issues is also not the purpose of this blog, but I felt I couldn’t celebrate Canada (Multiculturalism! Delicious foods like Nanaimo bars!) without acknowledging the First Nations who were the original inhabitants of Kanata.
Now, let’s make us some Nanaimo bars!
Extra Chocolatey Nanaimo Bars
- 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 drop yellow food colouring
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 2 tbsp. milk powder
- 2 1/2 c. icing sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 1 c. chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 c. ground mixed salted nuts
- 1 c. coconut (unsweetened)
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. icing sugar
- 1/3 c. cocoa
- 1 egg
Make the bottom layer: Mix all ingredients for the bottom layer together. Line a buttered 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper; leave enough parchment paper to overhang the sides (you’ll be using this later to lift the squares out of the tray easily). Press the ingredients into the tray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool in pan, and set aside (in pan).
Make the custardy middle layer: Blend all ingredients together. Spread smoothly over chilled bottom layer. Put in fridge until firm, or at least an hour.
Make the topping: mix the chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave in 30 s. bursts, stirring in between each, until thoroughly melted. Mix together and let cool slightly. Spread cooled mixture over the custard layer in the tray.
Chill the squares thoroughly before cutting. Lift entire tray of bars out of pan using parchment paper ends as handles. Place on a flat surface, and cut using a knife dipped in hot water (and then dried). Dip knife in hot water between each cut (and wipe dry after dipping).
And, enjoy a slice of Canadiana!
BONUS RECIPE: Chocolate Graham Crackers
Want to make your own chocolate graham crumbs? You totes can! I made my own chocolate graham crackers, by using this recipe (except halving it, and leaving out any toppings), and adding in 1/3 c. cocoa, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and using only whole wheat flour. Once baked and cooled, and I then blitzed the cookies in the blender until they were finely crumbled. Voila, homemade chocolate graham cracker crumbs!
Next Post: How to Make Your Own Banoffee Frappe! That’s right, it’s a frappe with banana, caramel, and whipped cream — so delicious on a hot summer’s day!