Thursday, January 28, 2010

Canada! Nanaimo Bars!

Daring Baker's Nanaimo Bars - January Challenge

What a great way to celebrate Canada and the Olympics, with a Canada favorite, Nanaimo bars!

Living in Florida, I definitely have never had Nanaimo bars, and I first head of them from Cakespy and her wonderful finds.

The recipe for Nanaimo bars with gluten-free graham crackers can be found at Celiac Teen's blog. The recipe for all of the components are super long, and well, it gives you an excuse to check out Lauren's blog!

The challenge could be done gluten-free or with wheat flour for the graham crackers, and I chose to try gluten-free. It was neat to work with the new ingredients I haven't worked with before, like sorghum, tapioca and sweet rice flour. One thing I noticed right away was how fine the flours' consistency was compared to all-purpose flour. I loved the gluten-free graham crackers, and I would definitely try GF baked goods again.

Nanaimo bars have three distinct layers, which in my book makes it a fancy bar-cookie recipe. the bottom layer is an ultra-tasty combination of graham cracker crumbs, coconut and buttery goodness.

The middle layer is a custard filling, and mine ended up a little grainy and a little too sugary. (One thing that could have caused that - I used skim milk instead of whole milk - I know, I know, but I hate having milk around the house if it isn't going to be used, and unless I am baking with it, it just sits there! )

The nanaimo bars are topped off with a layer of chocolate.

Problems I ran into with the bars, other than the custard problem I admitted to, was that the bars were sure hard to cut and get out of the pan. The top chocolate layer cracked while cutting, and on most pieces separated from the custard. I let the whole pan sit out of the fridge for about an hour to see if that would help in cutting, and it did, but just barely.

I liked the dessert, it was very rich and a great novelty. Great challenge!

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