Canadian Baking

Baking is a delectable way to beat the long winter days and nights.

Today’s recipe is a Canadian classic–Nanaimo Bars.

These popular squares were created in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and the best thing about these treats is that they’re easy to make with a delicious custard, chocolatey goodness and can be stored in the freezer for whenever the winter snack attack hits you.

They are rich, so even the most rabid chocoholic or ultra-sweet-tooth aficionado can only eat one small piece, which is a positive, as it will satisfy a craving without overindulging.

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten

Filling and Icing Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
3 TBSP custard powder (Bird’s custard is an excellent brand)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups icing sugar (also known as confectioner’s sugar)
2 TBSP milk
4 oz. good quality chocolate, chopped
1 TBSP butter


Preheat oven to 350F

In a bowl, stir together: graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder and sugar. Mix well.

Drizzle the crumb mixture with the melted butter and beaten egg, stir until well combined.

Press crumb mixture into a greased baking pan (round or square, your choice) and bake for 10 minutes until firm.

Set aside and let cool completely. The crust needs to be cool before adding custard.

Make the filling:

In a heat resistent glass bowl over boiling water (or use a double boiler). Once the water has come to a full boil, reduce heat to a low simmer.

Beat butter, custard powder and vanilla. Then beat in icing sugar alternating with the milk until it’s smooth. You may need to add in additional milk if the custard is too thick.

Stirring continuously until the custard is smooth and consistency is like this picture.

Pour the custard over the graham cracker crust, and refrigerate for one hour, until firm.

Making the chocolate icing:

Boil water in a sauce pan (or again, you can use a double boiler), then reduce heat to a low simmer.

In a glass bowl add chopped chocolate and butter and put the bowl over the hot water and stir until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Spread the chocolate sauce over filling.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut them into bars.

Refrigerate again for one hour, until chocolate is set.

These bars can be frozen.

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