Friday, March 29, 2019

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my husband had made homemade Kahlua, using espresso vodka as the base. He had originally gotten the recipe from his work colleague’s mom. She also makes Nanaimo Bars, although she calls them by a different name. Since we have quite a lot of Kahlua, I wanted to make some Nanaimo Bars with the Kahlua.

I have made several varieties of Nanaimo Bars! I’ve even visited the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, where you can get Nanaimo bar flavors in all sorts of different foods. It’s a cute little town to visit, although according to the museum there they don’t know the complete history of how the Nanaimo Bar came about. I see any triple layered bar called a Nanaimo Bar, but for me they must be a no-bake bar, contain custard powder in the filling, and are topped with chocolate.

This bar is the same recipe that I used for Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars. The only thing that I would change about this recipe is the base, as I find it too crumbly. Perhaps I didn’t press the base into the pan enough? I may be able to add a little more butter to make it stick together better. The Kahlua/custard filling is just so good. I don’t like a thick topping of chocolate, so I probably didn’t use the full 8 ounces of chocolate. The original recipe says to cut the bars before the chocolate fully sets. I didn’t do that, and the cuts can be a little messy. That’s true for when you cut the bars before fully set. Oh well. They can be a touch messy, but they are very tasty!

Kahlua Nanaimo Bars
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

1/3 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons custard powder
1/4 cup Kahlua
About 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar

8 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons shortening

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder, mixing until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Remove from the heat and stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press in the bottom of the prepared pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the filling: cream the butter until light. Stir in the custard powder and Kahlua. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar. If the filling is too soft, add additional powdered sugar. Spread the filling over the cooled base and refrigerate while you make the topping.

Make the topping: in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread the chocolate on top of the bars. Allow the chocolate to set before cutting into bars. Cut the bars with a knife dipped in hot water and then dried, for cleaner cuts.

Recipe from

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