So addictively good, one bite and you’re hooked! A bottom crust with nuts, cocoa and coconut, a middle layer of creamy vanilla custard filling and then melted and chilled chocolate on top! This is a GLUTEN-FREE version of the Canadian classic sweet treat – Nanaimo Bars. Freezable.
About two weeks ago, we went to Connecticut where we are to relocate pretty soon. We went there to register our kids for the coming school year. It was a long journey from Michigan to New Haven. We knew it would take us two days to do so especially since we were travelling with our kids which necessitated frequent stop-overs. So it wouldn’t be such a laborious trek, we decided to go via Canada instead of through Ohio and Pennsylvania. We thought it might be a more interesting and enjoyable to see something different along the way.
On route, we stopped by Toronto and stayed there overnight (both ways). Of course, when in Canada we had to have our favorite Canadian treat which we discovered a year or so ago. Perhaps some of you are familiar with it. I am talking about no other than the famous Nanaimo Bars. Haven’t heard of it before? Well, you’re in for an amazing treat! It’s truly one scrumptious and mouth-watering dessert. Imagine this – a bottom crust with nuts, cocoa and coconut, a middle layer of creamy vanilla custard filling and then, as if that’s not enough – added as topping would be your favorite chocolate melted then chilled! How irresistible is that!
I have made this completely gluten-free so I depart from the original recipe which uses graham crackers in the crust. Personally, I believe it’s much better this way – the nuttier, the better but feel free to sub the graham crackers in place of the ground almonds and replace the pecans with almonds instead. Either way, your taste buds will be dancing with joy!
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1 1/2 cups ground Almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans
1 cup, shredded Coconut
1/2 cup (4 oz, 1 stick) unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
5 Tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Combine the ground almonds, chopped pecans and shredded coconut in a bowl.
Using a double boiler or a saucepan over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Add the lightly beaten egg and stir frequently until smooth and the mixture has thickened about a couple of minutes.
Mix the sauce with the nuts and shredded coconut. Press in a buttered 8 x 8 pan.
1/2 cup (4 oz, 1 stick) unsalted Butter, room temperature
3 Tablespoons Milk (or Cream)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Custard Powder (like Bird’s Custard Powder)
2 cups Icing Sugar
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and creamy. Spread on top of the nutty crust.
4 (up to 4.5) oz 70% Dark Chocolate
1 Tablespoon unsalted Butter
Melt the chocolate and butter on low heat. Cool slightly. Pour over the second layer spreading it evenly on top. Chill in the refrigerator until all layers have set about 2-3 hours.
For easier cutting, rinse a knife in hot water (just to get it a little hot) and then dry it quickly and use it for slicing. Repeat as needed for the rest of the slices.
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