Thursday, February 01, 2007

Nanaimo Bars

We always have these at christmas, it's tradition!

Nanaimo Bars

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
1/4 cup vanilla custard powder (Bird's brand)
4 cups sifted icing sugar

6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, about 6 oz., finely chopped
1 tbsp butter

1. For base, lightly butter an 8 in. square baking pan. In a small bowl, stir cocoa with sugar. In a large bowl, microwave butter on high until melted, 45 sec. In a small bowl, whisk egg, then gradually whisk into melted butter until evenly mixed. Whisk in vanilla and cocoa mixture. Stir in crumbs, coconut and walnuts until evenly mixed. Press into an even layer in bottom of pan and refridgerate while preparing filling.

2. For filling, in a medium-sized bowl, microwave butter on high until melted, 30 to 60 sec. Whisk in milk, orange liqueur and custard powder, then stir in icing sugar. Evenly spread over base. Place in freezer until almost set, 15 min.

3. For topping, place chocolate in a small bowl. Add butter and microwave on medium until chocolate is almost melted, 2 to 3 min. Stir halfway through. Remove and stir until completely melted. Spread a thin even layer over chilled custard filling. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chocolate is firm but not hard, about 1 hour. Slice into 24 bars. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.

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