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Decadent Nanaimo Bars

 Decadent Nanaimo Bars
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
36 ServingsPrep: 40 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 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
  • FILLING:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • TOPPING:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 2% milk

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine ginger and rum; set aside.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa and sugar. Cook

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Decadent Nanaimo Bars (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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.