Monday, December 13, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

Every Monday the teachers get together at recess to share a dessert, or douceur du lundi as they call it. I signed up for December 13th, today. I wanted to bring something Canadian and so I decided to bring Nanaimo Bars, which were invented just outside of the city for which it is named.

In 1986, the City of Nanaimo held a contest to find the "ultimate Nanaimo Bar recipe". I used this "official" recipe, but strayed from it on a few points:

1. I approximated the amount of coconut and almonds I used in the bottom layer (mostly because of the size of my baking dishes).
2. I could not find graham crackers in France so I used baby/digestible cookies.
3. I cut the amount of sugar I used in the middle layer and used regular white sugar instead of icing sugar and added a splash of vanilla extract to the middle cream layer.

The recipe calls for vanilla custard powder, which from what I can tell is just to add vanilla flavouring so in the future I would probably omit it and just use vanilla extract (it was not easy find in SaintÉ, but I ended up finding it hidden on a bottom shelf in Auchan).

It was super easy to make. The hardest part was creaming the butter by hand with a whisk (women baking without appliances must have had great arms).

They were well-received by my colleagues, many of whom just helped themselves to a small square because of all the butter involved--I don't blame them; this is my second time baking in France (not that I baked often in Canada) and I am starting to realise how much butter is frequently involved.

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