in the last few days i got really into playing the house wife kind of role. so out of character. but i got obsessed with making these nanaimo bars after one of the models brought it to our christmas party at the agency. they were so delicious. i have long forgotten the taste, i’m not much of a sweet tooth but these really are the exception. it’s the coconut i think. for those of you that don’t know, nanaimo bars originated in ladysmith, vancouver island, south of nanaimo in the early 1950s. mabel jenkins, a local housewife from cowichan bay submitted the recipe to the annual ladysmith and cowichan women’s institute cookbook. this cookbook was sold in the early 1950s in the region as a fundraiser. it became popular in many of the province’s households, especially in company towns, and was sold in many of the coffee shops on nanaimo’s commercial street. tourists in the region, especially us tourists on pleasure boats came to refer to these as “nanaimo bars”(courtesy of wikipedia). for those of you who don’t know also they are primarily made of sugar. mmm. after making my first batch, this being very very apparent i didn’t have any. i have since then perfected the recipe, being such a kitchen genius that i am and so proud as a peacock here is the recipe that worked so well for me. this is probably going to be the last time in a couple of years that i make these. i will become transfixed with making something else by the time another opportunity presents itself for me to stand by the stove…

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
7 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg (beaten)
1&1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
melt the first three ingredients in a pot. add egg and stir it in to thicken. add the egg while the pot is off the stove, while mixing add a little bit of milk to make the solution a little more viscous. in a separate bowl mix in crumbs, coconut and almonds, add the mixed solution, stir well. press firmly into an ungreased pan (i used a 36x23cm pan, the recipe i found calls for 23×23, but the only difference is that your bars will be thinner… pfff big deal)
1/2 unsalted butter (melt entirely in a pot)
2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons cream
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar (the recipe says 2, but the sugar bomb that this already is i prefer more like 1&1/2)
cream (aka. stir) all ingredients together until light (which if you melt the butter won’t take long at all). spread on top of first layer with a spreader. some mixing of second and bottom layer will occur. you won’t even notice after the bars are ready. and if you are a super perfectionist good luck trying to figure out a workable way to do it otherwise.
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz each. i used 5 oz of chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
add some milk when melted to make more viscous, but you still want it to be creamy
melt the 3 above ingredients in a pot, while still liquid pour over second layer. it’s nearly impossible to spread this over the already liquid second layer with a spreader. what i figured out (and i pat myself on the back for this) is i pick up the pan and just move it around to get the chocolate to spread. i like the top layer to be thin so any excess chocolate after everything is covered i pour out of the pan. the bars are really the best when the top layer is thin, otherwise you really get an overload of sugar. 
you’re done. no baking involved! now put your pan into the fridge and let it sit overnight. when you are ready you can cut into even squares or whatever you like to do, you can even attempt to eat it as one gigantic nanaimo bar (and then curl on the floor from the pain). good luck! what a contribution to my womanhood, seriously. 

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