Know what that means? It means I can mess with Nanaimo Bars.
And I totally did.
Somebody stop me!
Except don’t stop me.
Go ahead. Ask me if I’m sorry. ‘Cause I’m not. I’d totally do it again. You should it! I promise I’ll tell you all about it.
First, we gossip.
Nanaimo bars. It is not pronounced na-na-ee-mo bars, not that I ever walked around my house muttering that, something you absolutely cannot prove it would not hold up in court trust me I know things like this on account of how I am a lawyer and that’s why. And I may or may not have been just the teeniest bit depressed when I found out how it is really pronounced. I’ll never tell.
Know how Ina Garten can’t stand cilantro, so she keeps that stuff out of everything that comes out of her kitchen, no exceptions made? I think that’s kind of annoying.
But (although I’m no Ina, don’t roll your eyes ’cause I’m under no illusions), I kind of do it, too, but with nuts in dessert bars and such around here. And it’s not because of me & my personal tastes and preferences. It’s on account of my very wrong children. The poor little dears don’t care for nuts in their dessert bars.
One difference here straight away is that I feel bad about legislating against nuts in dessert bars. But I know you, and I know you’re pretty swift. Let’s say – for argument’s sake – that I put nuts in the ingredients to these here Na•nai•mo Bars. Boom! You’d know right away that, like, something wasn’t quite right. In a hot second, you’d be sayin’ – hey, blog lady, there’s no nuts in the picture but there’s nuts in the ingreds. What up?
You’ll just have to wait until the printy recipe to see how I solved this here problem-o. Suspenseful!
Anyway, these are (mostly) no bake. It’s all, make a layer, chill. Make the next layer, chill. That sort of thing. I’m usually pretty suspicious of no-bake. It tends toward the grody. But it’s okay. I’ve totally got this. Not grody at all.
And one of the ingredients is Bird’s Custard Powder. It’s a British thing. But I find it easily in my regular garden-variety supermarket. And I checked. Totally gluten-free. A teeny bit on the expensive side, but not too bad at all for an import. Don’t feel like an ingredient scavenger hunt? No biggie. Just replace with an equal amount instant vanilla pudding powder. Don’t let it break your stride.
The bottom layer is traditionally graham cracker crumbs, mixed up with cocoa powder, butter, an egg, shredded coconut, and nuts. I have a really nice recipe for GF graham crackers in my cookbook p. 214, but maybe you don’t have the cookbook. I’m not a high pressure cookbook salesperson. You should be able to make nanaimo bars without having to buy my cookbook. So I used ‘Nilla Wafers. You can use either. Free country.
Oh, and I messed around with the top layer. It’s meant to be a chocolate-butter combo. I changed it to more of a ganache. A chocolate-cream combo. Silky smooth. And I used unsweetened chocolate, which I sweetened just a bit, ’cause the middle layer is basically a custard buttercream, and it’s super sweet. I’m all about the yin & the yang. And it’s seriously grown up, too. Not cloyingly sweet. You could defo just use regular semi-sweet chocolate & be done with it.
See for yourself.