There are few things as Canadian or as addictive as no-bake Nanaimo bars (named for the town in British Columbia that made them famous). For festive flair, add candied fruit and ginger.—Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 tablespoon rum
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red and green candied cherries
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons 2% milk
- In a small bowl, combine ginger and rum; set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa and sugar. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture reaches 160°.
- Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Stir in the cracker crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cherries and ginger mixture. Press into a foil-lined 9-in. square baking pan.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat the butter, milk and pudding mix until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth; spread over crust. Freeze for 15 minutes or until set.
- In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Spread over top. Combine confectioners' sugar and milk; drizzle over top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Decadent Nanaimo Bars in Country Woman December/January 2013, p26
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