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Orange Nanaimo Bars

I originally created these rich bars for my coworkers. Everyone raved about the shortbread crust, creamy middle layer and the orange and chocolate flavor combination. They were such a hit, they're now a staple for many gatherings.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 dark chocolate candy bar (3-1/4 ounces), chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 17 shortbread cookies, crushed
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 to 2 drops orange paste food coloring, optional
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 dark chocolate candy bar (3-1/4 ounces), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Directions

  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and candy bar. 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°.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, coconut, pecans and orange zest. Stir in chocolate mixture until blended. Press into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.
  • For filling, in a large bowl, cream butter and pudding mix. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, orange juice, zest and, if desired, food coloring. Spread over crust.
  • For glaze, melt candy bar and butter in a microwave; stir until smooth. Spread over top. Refrigerate until set. Cut into bars.

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