Monday, August 16, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

Today, I have another no bake recipe for you. This one is called Nanaimo Bars. I had never heard of Nanaimo Bars until recently. They are named after the region (Nanaimo, British Columbia) in Canada where they are most noted to have originated from.  These sweet treats have become quite popular across the US and you may even find a Nanaimo Bar pop up in a Starbucks from time to time. 
Of course, they have become popular for good reason. These bars are layered with all sorts of fabulous ingredients. They start out with a base made primarily of toasted coconut, graham cracker crumbs, and cocoa. Honestly, we could have just stopped right there and been perfectly content. (Oh, but I will go on just to humor you.) Then, you layer on what is referred to as the “custard.” But let me tell you it is not like any custard I have ever tried. It is more like the most wonderful white icing….Ever. You get my drift.  So then, moving on, there is the topping. The topping is simply chocolate melted with butter. Two of  my very favorite baking ingredients:) Very simple ingredients. Layered into a delectable dessert. Oh, and I just happened to read at Nanaimo this quote “Everyone knows that these bars have zero calories during Bathtub Week and at Christmas Time!”
Hmmm, very interesting. I’m not sure when Bathtub Week is exactly, but I vote that we just proclaim this week Bathtub Week. Just to be safe…..
So, as you can see, these indulgent, triple layered confections are in need of being made. Today if at all possible:) Plus, you can make them without creating extra heat from baking.  You know, since they’re "no bake bars" and all. Always a plus when the heat index is still hovering around 100.

Nanaimo Bars
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup toasted coconut

1/4 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder or instant vanilla pudding
3 tablespoons milk
4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon butter


  1. Mix 1/2 cup butter or margarine, white sugar, cocoa, egg and vanilla in a heavy sauce pan or double boiler. Stir over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened.
  2. Combine graham crackers, coconut  and add to the melted mixture. Mix well and press into buttered 9 inch square cake pan.
  3. Cream 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla custard powder and milk. Beat until creamy and spread over base.
  4. Refrigerate till hardened.
  5. Melt semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter and smooth over custard icing.  Refrigerate. When firm, cut into square bars.


Tickled Red said...

Oh my! I really need to eat breakfast before I visit my favorite foodies :) {Swoon} Theses look scrumptious and amazing! Also I get to leave the oven off in this oppressive heat...sold! I can't wait to make these with the boys :)

TKW said...

Growing up, we had a recipe for these but they were called Prayer Bars. We always had them at Christmas. But not during Bathtub Week, whatever that is. I think it sounds rather awesome, though.

cookies and cups said...

I had never heard of these bars until recently also, but man...they sure do look like something I have been missing ;)

Melissa said...

I just happen to have all these ingredients on hand, so that means these yummy treats are in my pantry screaming to be made! NO baking is always a plus for summertime with a 105+ heat index. Can't wait to try them! Thanks for posting this recipe!

foodcreate said...

These look amazing ..thank you for sharing your recipe:)

Sarah-Paige Copeland said...

Hello from Nanaimo, British Columbia! Well Gabriola Island to be exact, but I'm just a 20 minute ferry ride away. Whenever I feel like a little something special, a nanaimo bar is usually what will be on the plate before me, these little bars are a triple whammy of goodness! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe, I may just have to try my hand at making them sometime (very) soon.


p.s You've just missed Bathtub Week! It's a huge thing here, we don't have fireworks for Canada Day but they are out in full force on the Saturday of Bathtub week!!!

Julie said...

I'm convinced, I need to make these...pronto!

One 2 Try said...

You always make me hungry! It is so nice to meet you. Thanks for participating in Fancy Meeting You. Rita from One 2 Try.

Julie M. said...

Woah. These look sooo good! You always post the best desserts.

Anonymous said...

These look so so good! A must try for sure!

♥peachkins♥ said...

these nanaimo bars are so mouthwatering!

The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
blowing peachkisses

Marcellina said...

Your Nanaimo Bars look great! I too, had never had them until in January they were our Daring Bakers challenge but we made the Graham crackers as well. I made mine coffee flavoured and truely they are a delicious treat! You have reminded me to make them again.Thanks! Off to the kitchen I go. (I have to make the graham crackers first, we don't get them in Australia)

Susan said...

Coconut and chocolate is my favorite combination - can't wait to make them!

Brad said...

These Nanaimo Bars look positively deadly.

I want them, yet I cannot have them - clearly, my loss.

Fuat Gencal said...

Ellerinize sağlık. Çok güzel görünüyor. MUHTEŞEM....

Erin said...

A HUGE favorite of mine. I used to travel to Canada a ton and gobble these up. Yours look delicious!

Faith said...

These bars look divine! I should give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing!

Angie's Recipes said...

These nanaimo bars are new to me and they look divine!

Krista said...

Oh my goodness! What's not to love?! Bookmarking this one for sure.

Mary said...

These look impossibly delicious. I've bookmarked your recipe to try when things slow down around here. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Suzie said...

girl... these look sinfully sweet! you are the best..I love the way you talk about food and life.. bathtub week! whoever heard about bathtub week?! but you make it sound like so much fun!

Monica H said...

Everytime I see these bars they make me drool. I just love the layers, but it's the crust that gets me!

TheCraftBarn said...

Looks yummy!
I featured this recipe on my Yummy Wednesday blog post - here:

Jennifer @ The Craft Barn

LadyJayPee said...

I've been meaning to do a post on Nanaimo bars for ages. When I make them, it's usually around holiday time so others can help eat them. I'm going to have to get out my recipe and see how ours compare! :-D