I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers – January 2010 - Nanaimo Bars


The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.
There is not much to say about this month’s challenge.  Besides baking the graham crackers, everything was pretty simple.  I did use every bowl in the house, but that is nothing new for this kitchen.  I used all the ingredients listed – even the heavy cream! – but replaced the butter with Smart Balance Light.  I think that’s why it didn’t firm up quite as much as the one Lauren had a picture of.  I also chose to make the regular/wheat flour graham crackers, because I knew that the special ingredients would just go to waste in my kitchen.  I only baked half of the dough, so we will have lots more graham crackers to nosh on over the weekend.  I made the crackers last night and assembled everything this afternoon. 
Graham Cracker recipe came from:

Dry ingredients for graham crackers…mostly Whole Wheat Pastry and a little AP flour


Wet ingredients for graham crackers…


The dough…


Into the freezer for a quick chill (who has 2 hours to wait??)…


Needed lots of flour, but lovely to roll out…


I kinda sorta measured the crackers, but not exactly…


They were crispy, but survived…


For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
The crackers patiently waited all night for some attention…


I know the kids would have loved to make these crumbs, but noone was home (ahhhhhhhh)…


I stuck the almonds in the food processor…


Over the double boiler…




The egg made it a lot smoother…


I left out the coconut because no one here likes it…


The bottom layer…


I assumed I had vanilla pudding mix, but could only find Oreo Cookie pudding mix.  It worked out just dandy…


The middle layer…


I also assumed I had semi-sweet chocolate chips…doh! so I had to swap in caramel swirl chips…it could have been worse!

IMG_2385 IMG_2386

The recipe said to wait until it cooled to spread the chocolate and I did, but when I poured it on, it just collected in the middle and wouldn’t budge…

IMG_2388 IMG_2389

Even when it seemed like it had chilled enough, it hadn’t, so I put it in to chill even longer…


We all enjoyed it, but it isn’t something that I would rush to make again.  I am not a big fan of really rich desserts and the middle layer is basically SUGAR and that’s what it tastes like.  At least with butter cream frosting, you have a ton of fat to dilute the richness a bit ;)


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