Sunday, February 7, 2010

Daring Bakers: Nanaimo Bars

So... apparently when your job is short a few people and you are the assistant manager you wind up working over forty hours each week and then all you do is sleep and go to work. And then you remember days past the due date of the Daring Bakers Challenge Reveal that you never put it up.

I'm bad at this thing. Ugh.

However.... guess what?

I actually liked the resulting bars from this challenge. Weird, right? I never like the results. Except for the pizza... that was good. Anyway.

I had heard of Nanaimo Bars before the challenge, I had just never made them or had them. I'd seen recipes.. they just didn't sound appealing to me. I'm not sure why since I love coconut and I think anything can be made better with a graham cracker crust. Oh, well. I'm a believer now.

What are these bars? And why are they so difficult to pronounce? (I shouldn't complain... I lived in Hueneme, after all. Yeah. Try pronouncing that.) Nanaimo. Nuh-Nigh-Moe.

They are bars consisting of a chocolate-y, cooconut, almond, graham cracker crust, a "custard" middle (it's frosting... just call it that), and chocolate topping.

They were mouthgasmic. I could not stop eating them. Neither could my co-worker. Or my mom.

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

Nanaimo Bars

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.

I did not make gluten free graham crackers. Just regular ones.

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