Friday, June 25, 2010

Cherry Almond Nanaimo Bars

I love Nanaimo Bars and I wanted to find something similar that I could make. I was searching online and was at first looking for peanut butter Nanaimo Bars. There are many recipes out there and I came across a site that had a peanut butter variation and a cherry almond variation. I was talking about this with a couple of people and we all agreed that the cherry variation sounded good and was worth a try.

The base of these bars is really what makes them a Nanaimo Bar. Graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, and coconut are standard. These also called for toasted almonds in the base, but I decided to leave those out. (My almonds were a bit stale.) The filling doesn’t include custard powder which is traditional, but that’s ok. The cherries have a great flavor as they are. I decided to just drizzle with chocolate instead of covering the top completely, which lets you see the cherry filling better. These are quite sweet, so cut them small! They are addictive so you won’t have to worry about them lasting too long.

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut

In heavy saucepan over low heat, cook butter, cocoa, sugar and egg until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add graham cracker crumbs and coconut. Pat firmly and evenly into greased 9" square pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries

In a large mixer bowl, beat together powdered sugar, butter, cherry juice and almond extract until smooth. Stir in cherries. Spread over bottom layer. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons shortening

In top of double boiler over hot not boiling water, melt chocolate with shortening, stirring until smooth. (Or you can melt chocolate with shortening in a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.) Spread or drizzle over filling. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour, before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Canadian Living Magazine, September 1988.
Found on


Jenny's Place Online said...

They look delicious...!!! A bit unsure about the Aussie equivalent to Graham crackers, :) Happy cooking, Jenny

Jannett said...

oh my....these look so yummy.... :)

Kathy said...

I love chocolate and cherries, and these look delicious!