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Recipes // Desserts // Chocolaty Nanaimo Bars

Chocolaty Nanaimo Bars

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By Catherine Cassidy

If a pastry could be a friend, the Nanaimo Bar would be my BFF. This version won "Cookie of the Fair" at the 2006 Iowa State Fair. —Kelly McCulley, Des Moines, Iowa

Prep: 55 min. + chilling Cook: 10 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

FILLING:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Bird's custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream

TOPPING:

  • 1 ounce white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

Directions:

  1. Line bottom of a 9-in.-square baking pan with parchment paper. In a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir butter, sugar and cocoa over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Cook 2-3 minutes or until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160°, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans. Press into prepared pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until cold.
  4. For filling, in a large bowl, beat butter and custard powder until blended. Beat in confectioners' sugar and half-and-half until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until firm.
  5. For topping, fill a small resealable bag with melted white chocolate; set aside, keeping warm. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over filling.
  6. Cut a small corner in bag with white chocolate. Working quickly, pipe parallel lines over chocolate layer, spacing lines 1/4 to 1/2 in. apart. Working at right angles to the white chocolate lines, pull a toothpick back and forth across the pan, cutting through the piped lines to create a feather design.
  7. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until topping is just set (do not allow the chocolate to harden completely). Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 16 servings. Editor's Notes: Bird's custard powder can be found in some Cost Plus World Market stores or at worldmarket.com and amazon.com. To toast coconut and pecans, spread each in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition Facts:1 bar equals 343 calories, 22 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 168 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.

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