Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: few minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour + 1 hour
There are a number of stories as to where this cookie came from. It's thought to be native to Nanaimo, British Columbia on Vancouver Island (hence the name), and it gained widespread popularity in the 1950s. This creamy, chocolatey treat's origin is elusive, shrouded in mystery, and claimed by many as their own.
In 1986, Nanaimo Mayor Graeme Roberts, in conjunction with Harbour Park Mall, initiated a contest to find the ultimate Nanaimo Bar Recipe. During the four-week long contest, almost 100 different variations of the famous confection were submitted. The winner: Joyce Hardcastle. Her recipe becomes the official Recipe.
- Grease a 23 cm / 9-inch square cake pan.
- Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, egg, and vanilla in a heavy sauce pan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
- Add graham crackers crumbs, coconut, and chopped walnuts, stirring to combine. Press the mixture in the greased pan.
- Beat together butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla custard or pudding powder, and milk, until the mixture is creamy.
- Spread over graham cracker base in cake pan. Refrigerate bars until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Melt semi-sweet chocolate and 1 Tablespoon butter. Drizzle over chilled bars. Return to refrigerator to chill until firm (at least 1 hour).
- Cut into squares and serve.
Photo by Peter Arthold
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