These. are. so. good.
My friend from Canada told me about Nanaimo bars, and after making them they are now on my top 5 favorite desserts list! They are made of three layers: the bottom layer is made of graham crackers, cocoa, walnuts and coconut, the middle layer is made of custard/vanilla pudding and confectioners’ sugar, and the top layer is made of ganache. I have never heard of them before, and even though my husband and I were just in Nanaimo, BC last month, we didn’t see them anywhere. Speaking of our BC trip, here are a few photos from Tofino, which is just a few hours from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island:
Our first day in Tofino, we took a water taxi over to Meare’s Island and hiked the Big Tree Trail. The scenery was breathtaking…
We made it back in time to watch the sunset at our hotel, which was right on the beach.
I fell in love with Tofino, it was such a friendly small community surrounded by gorgeous scenery. The first day we were there when the weather was nice and sunny, but when we left it was rainy and windy. We heard this was how it was most of the year, so I decided I would not want to live there. The whole not seeing a lot of sun situation is already bad enough in San Francisco!
I do, however, highly recommend making these Nanaimo bars!
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (~12 graham crackers)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 beaten egg
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
- 4 tbsp milk
- 4 tbsp custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add all crust ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can mix by hand with a wooden spoon.
- Press the mixture into a greased 8x8 inch baking dish and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Add all filling ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, or to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 4 minutes.
- Spread the filling over the crust and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Note: If you want a thicker filling, you can add more instant pudding, but the texture will be different (not as firm).
- In the meantime, melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or small saucepan on low heat.
- Add the heavy cream and stir until smooth.
- Spread the chocolate quickly over the filling, and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.