Wednesday, April 21, 2010

N Is For Nanaimo Bars

N is for Nanaimo Bars, a wonderful, triple layered, custard and chocolate cookie.    So yummy!     It is said that a housewife from the town of Nanaimo, British Columbia, submitted this bar cookie for publication in a cookbook.  It turned out to be a hit and put both the treat and the town on the map!

You may have seen these mentioned on TV during the 2010 Winter Olympics.   They are truly a favorite Canadian confection!

This recipe comes from my best friend, who is Canadian.  She makes them every year.  My son loves them!

(picture from the www)


First Layer:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups graham crackers crumbs
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
Mix butter, sugar, egg and cocoa,  Place over boiling water (double boiler) and stir until mixture looks like custard.    Remove from heat;  and add crumbs, coconut and nuts.   Press into buttered 9x9 pan.

Second Layer:
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Cream butter, custard powder, milk and sugar until smooth.  Spread on graham cracker base.   Chill for about 15 minutes.

Third Layer:
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
Melt chocolate and butter over hot water (double boiler).  Spread over custard layer.

Chill.  Cut into squares.  (Keep refrigerated.)

My Notes:

I use Bird's Custard Powder.  You may substitute vanilla pudding if you can not find custard powder.

You may substitute any of your favorite nuts for the walnuts.

Use a hot knife to cut into squares, to keep the chocolate from cracking.

I have seen several variations on this recipe.  My sister adds 1 teaspoon of mint extract and 2 drops of green food coloring to the middle layer, to make it green at Christmas.

It's Alphabe-Thursday!  Join us over at Jenny's to see all the other N posts!

Other N news.... our naughty Natasha kitty decided to climb a tree in the back yard.  She did not know how to come down.  Mr. Garden had to get out the ladder and go up after her.  She kept climbing higher.  He climbed off the ladder and further up into the tree, while I  had visions of broken legs and backs.   Finally got them both down to safety.  I would have taken a picture, but I was too busy holding the ladder.

And for even more N, see yesterday's post about my niece.


  1. i have heard of these but never had tried to make them. do you use bird's custard powder or have you tried substituting pudding mix?

  2. Oh my those nanaimo bars looks so decadently good!

    So glad Natasha is OK! Will cats ever learn not to climb up trees? lol

  3. Nanaimo is just a quick drive over the Malahat Summit for us! Nanaimo bars are a family favorite and I make them a few times a year. Costco makes them, but they are NOT at all like the real thing!
    I'm glad everyone got out of the tree safely - cats, trees, and ladders and husbands............!

  4. Had never come across this wicked looking treat before, imagine the calories!
    Loved the comment about not taking the photo because you were holding the ladder, sounds just like me.

  5. Those bars look awesome, think I might have to copy the recipe. Glad Natasha OK..Oh and DH!

  6. Mmmm they look and sound disgustingly good!

  7. They look scrumptious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. Glad kitty and DH are safe. Two of my friends fell off ladders and broke their back. (Not at the same time or place)he he
    The cookies made my mouth water.

  9. I really wish I hadn't read this before eating breakfast - now all I want is chocolate! Who am I kidding, all I ever want is chocolate. These look delicious. Glad kitty and hubby recovered from their adventure and all are safe! Kathy

  10. These look too dangerous to keep at my house.

  11. I have been absolutely dying to make these bars for the longest time! yours look fantastic. The perfect representative for the letter N.

  12. Those bars look yummy. I'm afraid I would be the only one to eat them though.

    Poor Natasha. Glad you all got her out safely from the tree.

  13. Yummy! I make a brownie that has a marshmallow creme layer and at first when I saw the picture that's what I thought these were. But they are different. Sounds great. I had to laugh at you saying you would have gotten a photo but were holding the ladder! Ha!

  14. Well...YUM...or I should say Sinfullyum! 'N' never looked so good! Thanks for the recipe....I do love chocolate!

  15. Oh, my! I think I'd like one of these for breakfast! These look amazing. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  16. Thanks for sharing the recipe for those delicious looking bars. That will be NEXT weekend's treat...cheesecake already holds the place for this weekend! :)

    We'll forgive you for not taking a picture of Natasha and your hubby in the tree...but ONLY because you were holding the ladder. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for you...standing there holding the ladder and watching your husband climb the tree above the ladder, as she kept moving upward. Glad everyone is safe!

  17. No calories right??? LOL I wish I had a source near here.

  18. Now they look fab low calorie I assume !!!!

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I've been lookin' for this recipe ro Nanaimo Bars for some time. Woohoo...the grandkiddos are gonna love you!

    God bless and have a terrific day!!!

  20. oh wow, i am amazed that some people have never heard of these ... mind you i am from the Vancouver area and Nanaimo is just a hop skip and ferry ride away ... it is a lovely city ... I make a variation with Grand Marnier at Christmas ... thanks for your post, i had no idea they originated in Nanaimo (duh)

  21. Oh, my goodness...these look DELICIOUS! Just the perfect thing for my chocolate cravings. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  22. Oh my yumminess.

    I wish I was your neighbor...I'd run over and beg a little tiny slice cuz they looks amazing.

    Although I suspect if I started I wouldn't be able to stop and then I would look like I needed to be in the natuary!

    Thanks for a delicious stop on my little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "N"!


  23. I have a Canadian friend, and she made these for me back when we were in high school! Nice memories. Thanks for stirring them!

  24. and I'm supposed to be dieting! Thanks a lot!!! I am going to have to try this recipe.

  25. I've led a sheltered life. I've never heard of those...or custard powder. I'll have to investigage.

    Climbing up in a tree after a cat sounds like something we'd do. Glad they're both back on the ground safely.

  26. Those Nanaimo bars look gorgeous! Hope you are having a lovely week xx

  27. Yumm...Sorry I cannot copy that recipe because I would eat them all. Hubs does not eat that kind of treat. Thanks for sharing!

  28. I have never heard of Nanaimo Bars and I think they look yummy! I think I need to maek these for my kids! Thanks for sharing and I am so glad you got DH out of the tree!

  29. these look YUMMY! thanks for sharing the recipe. and thanks for reading picky and commenting. :]

  30. Oh My Goodness.....Nanaimo Bars, here I come...What a delicious looking treat. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and I'm glad you chose that for your N offering this week!!
    And yes what a naughty kitty indeed...sounds like one Beatrice Potter could have written about...
    Glad it had a SAFE ending...and you didn't have to call the Fire Department because it was a 50 foot tree or anything like that!!
    And the tea party looks so delightful. I hope I can do that with a granddaughter one day. So much fun. tea goodies hats flowers FUN! Thanks for sharing. and you are probably right about that Marine mail that is lagging. My box will hold them all on the same day most likely...tattered and torn lol...Hugs!

  31. Oh these look wonderful! Thanks for the recipe! Have a great weekend! Twyla

  32. Those bars look insanely caloric but quite delicious!
    I'm glad that your husband and kitty made it down the tree without any mishaps.
    I also enjoyed the tea party pics of your niece and family.

  33. Hi,
    and thanks for stopping by and leaving such nice comments on my blog. I'm glad to find yours, and I have been enjoying some of your older posts. I love your little doll house. It's so nice that you still have it.

  34. This is JamJar and I left you a note after your comment over at my blog, but I just wanted to thank you and reassure you that I am indeed fine. I'm sorry if it sounded otherwise...I thought my random thoughts were kind of cute but obviously I was sadly mistaken. Sorry to set off alarms, but thanks just the same for responding!!!

  35. If I come over here and look at these Nanaimo Bars one more time, I am going to blow every diet I've ever thought about....let alone started. These look seriously delicious.

    So, I'm taking the recipe and filing it ....for a special treat!!! I can't believe how good this look.

    Hope you have a very blessed weekend!


  36. Mmm these look delicious. I have never tried to make them but now I might reconsider..Have a great weekend!

  37. Oh my goodness -- these sound so good!

  38. Oh wow. It's not even lunch time, and I think I'm going to blow my diet. These look sooo yummy!

  39. When my cat was younger she also climbed and did not know how to come out of the tree; I remember her me.....

  40. my sister, who lives "up island" from Nanaimo makes these every year when she comes back for a visit. Everyone loves them.

  41. Yummy....this would be great for Christmas!


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