Blonde Nanaimo Bars

INGREDIENTS:

Bottom

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (digestives)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces

Middle

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Custard Powder / instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 3 tablespoons cream or half & half
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Top

  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted white chocolate for garnish (optional)

METHOD:

Bottom

  1. Line a 9×9″ square pan (or I like to use a rectangular 7×11″ pan) with parchment paper. You may need to spread a tiny amount of butter on the bottom and around the edges to get the paper to stay in place.
  2. In a 150 C oven, toast the coconut and pecans on a cookie sheet until toasty brown and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally during that 10-15 minutes because they tend to brown around the outside first.
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In the top/bowl of a double boiler over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar. When butter is melted, stir vigorously (but carefully) until the butter and sugar come together. Once the butter and brown sugar are completely mixed, whisk in the egg until mixture is thick. This should only take a minute or so.
  5. Remove top of double boiler and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and pecans. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the middle layer.

Middle

  1. Beat the butter, custard powder, and cream/half&half until mixed. Carefully beat in the powdered sugar. Once powdered sugar is incorporated, beat filling until it is light and creamy.
  2. Remove bottom layer from refrigerator and spread this middle frosting evenly and smoothly over the top (I use an offset spatula, but if you don’t have one, I’d recommend you use a silicone spatula or the back of a spoon).
  3. Return pan to the refrigerator until the middle layer is firm, at least one hour.

Top

  1. In the double boiler over medium heat, melt the white chocolate and vegetable/canola oil. When it’s 3/4 melted, remove from the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  2. Remove pan from the refrigerator again and pour and spread melted white chocolate over the top. Drizzle with the 1 1/2 tablespoons melted white chocolate, if that’s what you’re doing.

Finishing

  1. This is where it gets tricky, and I’ll have to try this again, but this is what I recommend. Return the pan to the refrigerator for 4-5 minutes. When chocolate on top looks just set, cut into 20-24 bars. Return pan to refrigerator for chocolate to completely set, about 30 minutes.
  2. Carefully pull bars out of pan by the parchment paper, which may rip. Then you just carefully remove the bars and plate them for serving.

Makes 20-24 small bars.

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