When I was 16, my then boyfriend and I ate a whole container of Nanaimo bars that my mother had made ahead and frozen for Christmas. I won’t admit to why we felt like munching on so many sweets. In an effort to hide the evidence, I dug up her handwritten recipe. The filling in the middle called for a custard. This was before the days where a quick Google search could have answered any of the questions I could not ask the person I was trying to pull a fast one on. Questions like, “what’s custard, anyway?” I searched the pantry and came up with a solution that was runny and pudding-like. Then I did what any teenager worth their weight would do: I assembled the misshapen, soggy bars and quickly put them in the freezer, delaying any possible punishment.
Ten years after that incident (or 8 years or maybe 12 years, I struggle with linear time) my mother passed on the recipe, this time with a chuckle and some advice about the custard in the middle of Nanaimo bars.
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 5 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1¾ cup Graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ cup fine coconut
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 5 squares of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate (or ¾ cup)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Melt first 3 ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-low heat
- Add beaten egg and stir till thickened, about 1 minute
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients
- Press firmly into a 9″x9″ ungreased pan
- Cream butter in a medium sized bowl
- Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute
- Spread evenly over bottom layer
- Place in fridge for at least 20 minutes before adding top layer
- Melt chocolate and butter over low heat in double boiler until just melted
- Pour evenly over middle layer
- Chill in refrigerator
- Once the chocolate is set soft, cut into bars and return to fridge.
This freeze very well.