Friday, December 25, 2009

Mint Nanaimo Bars

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 (makes about 16 pieces)


This recipe is a variation of the classic (vanilla) one. I use less butter and no sugar in the bottom layer, and they are still sweet and rich without.

People seem to love them. A few years back I "borrowed" a friend's husband to escort me to a work related function in exchange for a batch of these.

Bottom Layer
½ stick (2 oz) unsalted butter
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup chopped almonds or walnuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut


Combine the butter and cocoa powder in a pot and melt over very low heat. Slowly mix the hot mixture into the beaten egg, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, and coconut. Press the mixture firmly into an ungreased 8"x 8"  baking pan.

Middle Layer
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4-8 drops of peppermint extract, according to taste
1 or 2 drops of green food colour, if desired
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1-2 tbsp of milk

Cream the butter and add the peppermint extract and food colour. Add the icing sugar and then the milk in small amounts until the consistency is that of icing. Spread over bottom layer and chill while preparing the top layer.

Top Layer
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
3 tbsp unsalted butter


Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat. Let it cool a bit and pour over middle layer. Chill in refrigerator until set; about an hour.
Cut into squares using a knife dipped in hot water.

Many consider these a type of bar cookie, but they are so sweet and rich, I tend to think of them as candy. You'll find different variations of them scattered throughout Canada in coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries.

3 comments:

Salem said...

Sound like a wonderful variation on a Canadian classic! I couldn't agree with you more on reducing the sugar. Most dessert recipes call for way too much, completely unnecessarily, which is as bad as drowning good savoury food in salt.

Sara said...

Oooh, I like the idea of using mint in the middle layer...sounds really delicious! :)

Lynn Huntley said...

Wow! These sound delicious~ Chocolate and Mint, a favorite of mine~Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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