I make cookies for everyone at work and bring them every Friday. While my cookies are well known in my close work group, other folks don’t necessarily know about my cookie baking skills. Occasionally, I have a meeting where I will bring cookies or something like that. I had a meeting where somehow the conversation turned to Nanaimo Bars. I mentioned that I love to make Nanaimo bars and have made several varieties. I said I would make them when we had another meeting.
Now, this became a dilemma for me; I’ve made and posted Nanaimo Bars and I don’t typically post the same thing more than once. I could find a variation, but then what if they were disappointing? My solution was to make this variation, the blonde Nanaimo bar, and then also make the classic bars. In the photo you can see both varieties.
I was intrigued by this blonde variation. Usually, variations change up the filling by adding extra flavors. This recipe is different in that the base omits the cocoa powder and uses brown sugar rather than regular sugar. Of course, the topping is white chocolate. I love the base; the toasted coconut and brown sugar give the base a lovely buttery flavor. The topping was tricky, as it cracked to pieces when I cut the bars. I had refrigerated them for just a few minutes, as the recipe stated, but that didn’t work so well! These are quite sweet, and very rich, so cut them in fairly small bars.
Blonde Nanaimo Bars
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup pecan pieces, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons Bird's Custard Powder
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped white chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread the coconut in a baking pan and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently so that the coconut doesn’t brown. Allow to cool slightly.
Line a 9” x 9" square pan with foil.
Make the base: in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, toasted coconut and the beaten egg. Stir until combined. Press into the base of the prepared pan. Refrigerate while making the filling.
Make the filling: in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, custard powder, and milk on medium until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar, while the mixer is running on low. Spread the filling over the base and refrigerate for at least and hour.
Make the topping: in a microwaveable bowl, combine the white chocolate and shortening. Microwave, in 30 second increments, stirring frequently. When the mixture looks half melted, allow the chocolate to sit for 2 minutes, allowing the residual heat to assist in the melting process. Continue microwaving and stirring until the mixture is smooth. Spread the chocolate over the bars.
Allow the chocolate to set before cutting into bars.
Recipe from Food Pusher