Expletive. These taste even better than they look. I owe it all to Tara at Seven Spoons. She's bona fide Canadian and much more qualified to write about Nanaimo bars than I am. I grew up eating these. They were our north-of-the-border treat, something we got when we took the B.C. ferry to Victoria or went to the Vancouver Aquarium. And they tended to show up at Bellingham potlucks in the 1980's (alongside the requisite buckets of fried chicken iceberg lettuce salads). When I saw Tara's photo, I literally gasped. My kids said, "What, Mom?!" And I said, "I have to make these cookies." So Loretta and I walked to the store this morning and got busy. I totally let her lick the beater, of course. I never heed the mommy blog warnings about raw eggs.
If you were one of the wonderful participants in the healthy eating class I taught this week at Rainier Health and Fitness, please do not lose faith in me. I still stand by everything I said--avoid white flour and too much sugar, overload your day with vegetables and whole grains, and maybe don't make these this week while you're practicing new, healthier habits. Because they will sing your name through the fridge doors.
A thick layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache on top, crunchy coconut-graham-pecan crust on bottom, and a layer of cheesecake in-between. Not the classic pudding-filled Nanaimo recipe (which is far inferior, I think).
Yancey's re-plumbing our house and emerged from the crawl space for lunch. Anyone else have husbands or partners who have been wearing the same work clothes for 15 years? I think it's smart and sexy--how does he know how to plumb a house?! It always amazes me. He watched me cut these up and stuck his fingers in to grab a little square. He pronounced them the best treats I had ever made. But now I'm annoying you, quoting my biased husband as some kind of credible critic. Definitely don't take his word for it. Make them for your next potluck and upstage the pasta salads and spongy chocolate chip cookies. I dare you.
Tara adds a bit of sugar to the ganache topping. I left it out because I prefer the topping more bittersweet. I used Ghiradelli 60% chips, which I love to have around for projects like this. Though there are a few steps to the recipe, it really isn't hard at all. Just make sure you line your pan with overhanging foil or parchment, or it will be frustrating to get them out of the pan. And I used regular graham crackers instead of chocolate ones for the crust because that's what I had around.