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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Reviewed May. 22, 2015
"These are absolutely delicious, and everyone loves them. You can add coffee flavouring to the filling, or tint it green and add peppermint flavouring at Christmas. Easy to make, and freeze really well."