If a pastry could be a friend, the Nanaimo Bar would be my BFF. This version won “Cookie of the Fair” at the 2006 Iowa State Fair. —Kelly McCulley, Des Moines, Iowa
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons Bird's custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
- 1 ounce white baking chocolate, melted
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- Line bottom of a 9-in.-square baking pan with parchment paper. In a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir butter, sugar and cocoa over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Cook 2-3 minutes or until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160°, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans. Press into prepared pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until cold.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat butter and custard powder until blended. Beat in confectioners' sugar and half-and-half until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until firm.
- For topping, fill a small resealable bag with melted white chocolate; set aside, keeping warm. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over filling.
- Cut a small corner in bag with white chocolate. Working quickly, pipe parallel lines over chocolate layer, spacing lines 1/4 to 1/2 in. apart. Working at right angles to the white chocolate lines, pull a toothpick back and forth across the pan, cutting through the piped lines to create a feather design.
- Refrigerate 10 minutes or until topping is just set (do not allow the chocolate to harden completely). Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Chocolaty Nanaimo Bars in Taste of Home June/July 2014
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