Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, Canada

I was trying to figure out a way to celebrate the Olympics...

I thought making something that was Canadian would be good...
So, after visiting a few other blogs (yes, it's true, there are other blogs out there, I'm not the only one...crazy...oh, and guess what, my blog isn't a secret so you can share ChambersMade with all your friends)
okay blog tangent over...
I found these Canadian treats out there in blog land...

Nanaimo Bars...not sure how to pronounce them...
we're calling them Nan-eye-mo Bars here at ChambersMade
...anyone know how bad we're butchering it???

There are a few different stories out on the world wide web about the origins of the NB (oh, and that's their nickname in Canada)...but something like a house wife named Mable entered this recipe into a baking contest around 1950 and named the bars after the town she was from...Nanaimo...and thus the rest was history...

These no-bake, three layered bars are delicious; they start with a crumb base, followed by a layer of light custard buttercream, topped with a smooth layer of chocolate.  Really, what's not to love?  Well, coconut if you don't like coconut (but I love it), and pecans (but I love those also)...and well, there's just a tiny bit of butter in these...but it's the don't we burn calories just watching all the exercise on TV?

So, back to 2010 USA...I wanted to celebrate the Olympics (that we haven't watched any of, which is weird because I love the Olympics, but I've been getting all my updates online and haven't sat down and watched ZERO...), so I found this recipe and here is my attempt, had to adapt it so this is the

ChambersMade version of Nanaimo Bars...

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup  granulated white sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 1 1/2 sleeves
1 cup coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 - 3 tablespoons milk or cream
3 tablespoons vanilla pudding powder (this is were I made the biggest change, the authentic recipe calls for 'Bird's vanilla custard powder', something that you can't find in little ol' Redding CA... )
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar (fyi, those Canadians call it Icing Sugar...)

3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch pan.

BOTTOM LAYER:  In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 - 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

FILLING:  In your electric mixer cream the butter.  Beat in the remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

TOP LAYER:  In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the filling and refrigerate.

TO SERVE: To prevent the chocolate from cracking score the top layer of chocolate when it's cooled but not hard yet...

Yield: Makes about 25 squares..really, you will want to cut them into the normal 3x3=9 bars out of a 9x9 pan, but this are REALLY rich and you can cut 5x5 getting you 25 squares out of the 9x9 pan...

the children in the ChambersMade household loved these little squares of heaven...

I will be honest, I thought the middle layer tasted not so good when I was constructing the bars, but in the finished product I LOVE it...the combination of all 3 layers are just the best thing ever...
and I will also be honest, Beau did not like them...but he's weird and we know that...he also does not like cheesecake...oh and a friend that will remain nameless (but is a fellow blogger) also didn't care for them, but she doesn't count because she doesn't like coconut, but her husband, Mr. Smith did like them...

Oh, and there is just one more left in my fridge and I can't have the children in the ChambersMade household fighting tomorrow over that last one, so I will have to go take one for the team and eat it all gone!  That's what kind of mom I am!

blog edit
forgot to mention that we had friends over the night I made these and the NB's...they were so good that they made one fall off her diet wagon and then when I sent them home with 3 their marriage came to a really rocky moment in deciding who would get the last one!...Sorry Kim and Brad if the NB's might have done to your marriage!  I think we are all in agreement that we can just blame Canada!
end of blog edit


Bella @ Lil Daisies said...

Fun! Eh? (that was just my little short bad Canadian joke)

Mmmm. We haven't done anything special for the Olympics. I feel like such a bad mom lately for not planning fun little things...ah, well eventually I will get back to it.

Good job Kiera!

Linda said...

Yum! Where did you ever learn of this wonderful dessert?

Kiera said...

mom on the world wide web!