There a lot of things I miss from Canada now that I live in Seattle. My friends and family of course. The snowy months leading up to December that made it feel completely Christmassy. The word “washroom”. Being able to instinctively say sorry when other people bump into me without it being strange (apparently Canadians are just as weirdly polite as sit-coms always told us we were).
Then there’s all the foods I have yet to see in supermarkets here.
Fudgee-Os, Half-Moons, Mint Aeros, Fuzzy Peaches, Coffee Crisp, Wine Gums, ketchup chips, maple sandwich cookies..
A lot of junk food it would seem.
Oh and President’s Choice white cheddar mac & cheese. So many university meals…
One of Trevor’s favourite Canadian treats is a little less packaged than the things on my list. I can create it in the kitchen instead of unsuccessfully hunting it down in a supermarket.
Named after the city in British Columbia that it originated from, Nanaimo Bars are a rich little no-bake treat that resemble a candy as much as a bar due to it’s very sweet three layers.
Layer one is a combination of sugar, cocoa and butter melted together, bound around coconut, almonds and graham crumbs with the help of an egg.
Layer two gets its flavour from custard powder, but is thick like a dense buttercream frosting. Scratch that, not “like” a buttercream frosting. It is a buttercream frosting.
Layer three is chocolate with a little butter to keep it slightly softer, even after refrigeration.
So recapping, this is a sweet chocolate-coconut treat, with two, count’em two, sweet toppings. Someone actually looked at this thing after the second layer and said hey, I just slathered this thing in a thick, rich buttercream. You know what it needs? An additional layer. Of chocolate.
Someone is awesome.
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
Chocolate Coconut Layer
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Custard Buttercream Layer
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons custard powder
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Coconut Layer: Beat the egg in a small bowl and put aside. In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Temper the egg by slowly adding a 1/4 cup of the warm chocolate mixture to the egg, whisking constantly. Add the egg back into the remaining chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Stir mixture until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8×8 inch pan.
- Custard Layer: Cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.
- Chocolate Layer: While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter together in a double boiler. Let cool until no longer hot to the touch. Spread over the chilled bars. Let the chocolate set in refrigerator before cutting into squares. (I let it set about 2 hours before cutting it, when the chocolate was no longer oozing, but was not quite hard yet.)
Makes approx. 20 bars. Recipe doubles well in a 9×13 in pan. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.