Missing Vancouver Island: Nanaimo Bars to the Rescue!

What’s a girl to do when she missing home? Bake a delicious snack named after her hometown? Yup that sounds about right. I can’t even say I remember Nanaimo bars as being a big thing when I lived there, sure I ate them but they are everywhere on the West Coast. In fact I didn’t even realize how much I’d miss them until a few years into living on the East Coast. I hadn’t seen them anywhere until on a trip to Prince Edward Island 2 summers ago, we stopped at a bakery in New Brunswick which had them and my eyes light up and my stomach grumbled, and I remembered. Remembered one of the few baked items I’ve always loved and one that is extremely rare to find here. For the last month I’ve been craving the ocean and anything that reminded of living on the island so I decided “hey, l should make Nanaimo Bars”. At first I thought it’d be cute to do a few post of me trying to find the ULTIMATE recipe but quickly I realized that there is an official recipe, right on the city’s website. They threw a contest in the 80’s to see who had the best recipe, and Joyce Hardcastle’s recipe won and is considered by Nanaimo to be THE recipe (to rule them all). I was also surprised that the official custard powder, made by Bird’s was easily found at my local grocery store – off to a good start. So last night I made these, and let me tell you – they taste like home. Already I feel a bit better and maybe just maybe on a bit of a sugar high. I wanted to share with you guys part of my hometown, and a great dessert to make. No baking required and super easy to do, the flavor is hard to describe because of the layers but it’s very chocolatity, rich, and sweet with nuts, graham crackers and coconut. Although one warning if you haven’t made these before – watch a YouTube video like this one to get an idea about what each layer should look like because the recipe although official is pretty bare bones for a first timer. Here is some shots of my yummy treat, and let me know if you make these yourself.   naniamo bars (7) naniamo bars (4) naniamo bars (9)


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