Sunday, August 23, 2009

Work BBQ and Nanaimo Bars!

Friday was our big work BBQ. We have over 20 people from work come over for a BBQ. It went relatively well, all things considered. But let me let you in on a little secret: When the hostess asks you to bring a appetizer, side, or dessert, she usually doesn't want bags of chips, store bought salads or prepackaged pies. This is your chance to show off. Put a little effort in. For my part, I made one of each and my homemade caesar salad was the first to go. For dessert, the only homemade things were my supervisor's wife's chocolate chip cookies (yum) and my Nanaimo bars, which, surprise, required no baking at all. Anyone can do it. So next time you're invited somewhere, give these babies a try.

Nanaimo Bars

Shopping List:
• Semi-Sweet Chocolate (6 squares)*
• salted butter
• egg (1)
• vanilla extract
• graham cracker crumbs
• medium flaked coconut
• chopped walnuts (optional)
• custard powder
• milk
• icing sugar

* Can substitute 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for every 2 squares of baking chocolate.

Divide the butter into ½ cup, ¼ cup, and 1 tbsp and let it come to room temperature. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil for easy removal of squares.

Partially melt 2 squares chocolate in the microwave, and then stir until completely melted. Add to a medium bowl containing ½ cup butter and stir until butter is completely melted and mixed.

Blend in 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Stir in 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup medium flaked coconut, and ½ cup chopped walnuts (if using).

Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Refrigerate until next step is ready.

Whisk 2 tbsp custard powder with 3 tbsp milk in small bowl. Beat in ¼ cup butter followed by 2 cups icing sugar in four installments. Spread over bottom crust and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Microwave 4 squares chocolate with 1 tbsp butter until completely melted and mixed. Spread quickly over the custard layer using an off-set spatula.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, and then score the top chocolate layer with a knife for easy cutting later (4x8=32 bars). Refrigerate for several more hours or overnight before cutting into bars, using the thinnest blade possible.

Original Source: Kraft Canada - Nanaimo Bars

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