Tag Archives: Canada

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Nanaimo Bars

100711 006-1DAY 6: Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo is a little town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is where my dear husband spent the first half of his childhood. These bars have a controversial history all their own, but Canadians are ever true to these bars originating in their little seaside town. More info and the recipe officially adopted by Nanaimo can be found on the Nanaimo city website.

These bars are definitely more like a candy than cookie. If you remember that before you take a great big bite, they will not seem so outrageously sweet. Think  “double frosted fudge”  not “brownie”  and you will take appropriate nibbles that will keep your blood sugar in check.


Nanaimo Bars

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Bottom Layer
½ cup butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 Tbs cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup shredded coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, almonds and coconut. Press firmly into a buttered 8″ x 8″ pan.

Middle Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbs plus 2 tsp cream
2 Tbs vanilla custard powder (Birds’ Custard Powder)
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Top Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbs unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over middle layer and chill in refrigerator until firm.  Cut into small squares.


Recipe from the City of Nanaimo website


Filed under Candy, Cookies, Desserts