A Layer Bar Like No Other!

Tools Needed

8x8 baking pan (Fat Daddio's PSQ)
Medium saucepan
Mixing bowl
Whisk (Fat Daddio's WW)
Spatula (Fat Daddio's SPAT)

For the bottom layer:

½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter
¼ cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds

For the middle layer:

½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding powder (I used Jell-O brand)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

For the top layer:

4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 ½ tablespoons butter

  1. Lightly spray an 8 X 8 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (I use Baker's Joy) and set aside.
  2. Make the bottom layer. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Do not let the mixture boil. Add the beaten egg and stir constantly until the mixtures begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut, graham cracker crumbs and nuts. Stir until the dry ingredients are well coated. Then transfer to your baking pan and press down firmly, making a flat surface as you press down. Place the pan in your refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Make the middle layer. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together all of the ingredients until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully spread it over the chilled bottom layer, making it as even and flat as possible. I used an offset spatula for this and it worked great. Place the pan back in your refrigerator to chill while you make the top layer.
  4. Make the top layer. In a medium saucepan over medium heat (or in a double boiler), melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently so the mixture doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes to cool and thicken slightly. Carefully spread it over the chilled middle layer, making it even and flat.
  5. Place the pan back in your refrigerator for 8-10 minutes. This will give the chocolate time to partially set. Then “score” the chocolate layer with a sharp knife. This will allow for easier cutting once the bars are completely cooled and will prevent the chocolate layer from cracking.
  6. Transfer the pan back to your refrigerator to allow the Nanaimo Bars to finish setting, at least another 20 minutes.
  7. To cut the bars into rectangles, place a sharp knife in a glass of warm water. Dry the warmed knife before slicing. Cleaning it (and re-warming it) frequently between cuts will help you get the neatest and best looking slices. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Learn what the official dessert of your state: United Sweets of America.