Nanaimo 11

This has been one of the hubs' favorite Christmas Cookies since he was a little tyke! On or first Christmas together I was going to bake my favorite Christmas cookies & of course wanted to bake some of his a well. When I asked him, he gave me a few favorites, Toffee squares, Mexican Wedding cakes & Nanaimo bars. It took about 12 tries until I could understand what he was saying, & finally it took a phone call to his Mom in Spokane to clear up the mystery & also get the recipe. Turns out these little cookies have a crumbly, chocolatey crust consisting of graham cracker crumbs, nuts & coconut, chilled & topped with a silky, custardy layer (which I can eat all by itself) then topped with melted chocolate. How could I not make those? Needless to say I have been making them ever since!

Nanaimo Bars

crust layer:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 TB cocoa powder
1 egg,slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

In a medium saucepan or double boiler mix together the butter, sugar & cocoa. Add the egg & vanilla & stir until mixture is of a custard like consistency. Combine graham cracker crumbs, coconut & walnuts & add to the melted mixture. Mix well & pack crust into a greased 7 1/2 x 11 inch pan (I used a 9 inch square pan because I like them thicker). Chill crust for at least 1 hour.

custard layer:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 TB Bird's vanilla custard pudding
2 TB hot water (milk or cream)

Cream butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, custard powder & water. Beat until creamy & spread over the chilled crust. Chill until very firm.

top layer:
4 squares (or 4 ounces) semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 TB butter
Melt the chocolate & butter together (I use the microwave) & carefully pour it over the custard. Spread with a rubber spatula or small offset spatula. Chill for about 30 minutes for the chocolate layer to harden. Bring to room temperature before cutting into small squares so that the top chocolate layer does not crack.

I usually double the custard layer, I love the fluffy sweetness of it.
These can be made ahead & frozen.


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