Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lower Fat Nanaimo Bars!

Growing up, the only time of year you would see a Nanaimo Bar in our home would be Christmas time.   It was not one of the treats that my mom would make, so more likely a neighbour may have brought it during an open house, or for a holiday potluck party.   I was a chubby little girl, and adored treats, although I wasn't always permitted to gorge my self on them like I would've wished!  Nanaimo Bars have sort of that untouchable, forbidden treat status in my memory banks. So hard to resist!

I would consider Nanaimo Bars a quintessential Canadian classic, everyone has their own version. What I like about this recipe from Julie is that it is much lower in fat than almost every recipe I've ever perused before.  Almost half the amount of butter! Rejoice!  

It's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes these bars so scandalously delicious, once you've had one, it's hard to stop!  With this version of Nanaimo Bars though, you don't have to feel as guilty.  Feed your inner chubby girl!

Nanaimo Bars
Recipe from: Dinner With Julie

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3-4 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups graham wafer crumbs (make these Gluten-Free by using GF graham crumbs!)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
pinch salt

Custard Filling:
3-4 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 Tablespoons. custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tablespoons. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Topping:
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate

In the bowl of a double boiler or a medium stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering (almost boiling) water, combine the brown sugar, cocoa, butter and corn syrup.  Whisk in the egg, and continue to whisk until the mixture melts and thickens slightly.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, graham crumbs, coconut and salt.
Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of an 8” x 8” pan ( no need to grease)place it in the freezer (or in the garage, or outside!) while making the filling.
For the filling use a medium bowl, and add butter, custard powder, icing sugar, milk and vanilla, beating (or use hand held mixer)until smooth.  (Julie says: adding a few extra drops of milk if necessary until you have a spreadable frosting).  Spread over the base, and return pan to freezer (or cold space) to chill until firm before covering with chocolate layer.
Use the the same double boiler or stainless bowl over top boiling water from base step, and melt chocolate, stirring until smooth and spread over the chilled base & filling.  Chill until firm.  The hardest part is cutting these so that the chocolate doesn't crack, so allow to come to room temperature, and use a sharp knife when ready to cut, and/or serve.  


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