Not Too Sweet Nanaimo Bars

Not Too Sweet Nanaimo Bars

by Kristen on December 20, 2011 · 11 comments

Not Too Sweet Nanaimo Bars

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.

Not Too Sweet Nanaimo Bars

5.0 from 2 reviews
Not-too-Sweet Nanaimo Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A traditional Canadian Christmas treat
Author:
Serves: Makes about 20
Ingredients
Bottom layer:
  • 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
Middle layer:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar
Top layer:
  • 5 squares of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate (or ¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions
Bottom Layer:
  1. Melt first 3 ingredients in a medium sized saucepan on medium-low heat
  2. Add beaten egg and stir till thickened, about 1 minute
  3. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients
  4. Press firmly into a 9″x9″ ungreased pan
Middle layer:
  1. Cream butter in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute
  3. Spread evenly over bottom layer
  4. Place in fridge for at least 20 minutes before adding top layer
Top layer:
  1. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat in double boiler until just melted
  2. Pour evenly over middle layer
  3. Chill in refrigerator
  4. Once the chocolate is set soft, cut into bars and return to fridge.
Notes
Make sure you cut the bars before the chocolate is set firm or the chocolate will crack.
These freeze very well.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Dianne

What is custard powder?

Reply

Kristen

Hi Dianne,

Custard powder is basically corn starch with a little flavouring added. You can buy it in the baking section of almost all grocery stores. The brand I use is Birds, but I’m sure all brands would work well. Here’s a link to Birds Custard Powder website so you can see what it looks like. If you make the naniamo bars, let me know what you think of them. They’re one of my favourites!

http://www.birdscustard.co.uk/

Reply

dd

It is “Nanaimo”
Love your site!
d

Reply

Kristen

Thanks, dd!

Reply

Erin

Are these the same as M&M Meat’s naniamo bars? I used to be able to get them when I lived in Buffalo, NY but now I live in Las Vegas with my husband and we clearly can’t just drive over the boarder to grab a box!

Reply

Kristen

Hey Erin,

I’ve never had naniamo bars from M&M Meats before. My hunch is that these would be similar, but better since homemade treats always taste better than store bought :) Let me know if they taste the same as you remember!

Reply

Evelyn

Hahaha….I so remember coming home to finding your first attempt at these…still makes me laugh that you ate all of them!! Lv you, xo

Reply

Nancy

This is my mother’s recipe! Hers were called Flanagans Fancies. I will only eat these as I find that the storebought Nanaimo’s are way too sweet for me. They are a Christmas tradition, however, I have to hide them from my sons as they will eat them all if they can find them!

Reply

Kristen

I love the name Flanagans Fancies! They’re still my favourite Christmas treat. Can’t imagine the holidays without them :)

Reply

Linda

This recipe is similar to my grandmothers (90 yrs old), but her secret ingredient was adding chopped dates to the first three ingredients in the sauce pan. This simple addition kept the base moist and the taste of graham wafers was balanced. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Kristen

That is such a great idea to add chopped dates. I think I’ll try that next Christmas season for sure!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Previous post:

Next post: