'Tis the season for cookies, Part 4

Pam Griffin The Destin Log

A dessert of Canadian origin popular across North America, the Nanaimo Bar is named after the West Coast city Nanaimo, British Columbia. The bar originated in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, in the early 1950s. Unconfirmed references, however, date the bars back to the 1930s or even nineteenth- century Nanaimo.

Bottom layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup sugar

5 Tbsp. cocoa

1 egg, beaten

1 3/4 cups graham wafer crumbs

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 7 x 10 pan.

Second layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cream

2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder or instant vanilla pudding

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third layer

4 (1- oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. When cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator. Makes 25–-30 bars.

Excerpt from "Christmas Cookies 'Round the World" by Pam Griffin, available at www.cedarfort.com.