The Legendary Nanaimo Bar 




This creamy, chocolaty treat's origin is elusive, shrouded in mystery, and claimed by many as their own. Of course, we know that Nanaimo Bars originated in Nanaimo, or they would be called New York Bars, or New Brunswick Bars.



The origins of the Nanaimo Bar are hard to pin down, but several theories exist. Ask some people and they will tell you that a Nanaimo housewife is the inventor. About 35 years ago, a Nanaimo woman entered her special recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest. She won, and dubbed her award-winning bars after the town she lived in.

Ask someone else, and they will tell you that the Nanaimo Bar was first created many years before that, with miners' wives putting the scrumptious dessert in their husbands' lunches.

The Ultimate Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup coconut

Melt first three ingredients in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8"x8" pan.

Middle layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. cream
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Top layer

  • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. When cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

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