Simone's Kitchen

Daring Bakers: Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars |

Ok, don’t you all dare to laugh at me… πŸ™‚ Yes I forgot to make the challenge but I think I came back pretty quickly didn’t I? I was lucky that an appointment for today was cancelled so I all of a sudden had time to make these lovely bars.

I first started with making the Graham wafers, which were very simple to make really. I did not make them glutenfree. I wanted to but to find glutenfree flour here is simply impossible. At least not in any store nearby so I figured I might as well do the wheat version. I did use part riceflour since I still had that from when I went to Amsterdam and saw it. I had no idea what tapioca was, so didn’t bother finding that and just went with wheatflour.

I didn’t have vanilla essence either, so I substituted this with cinnamon essence and I actually think that was a brilliant choice as I loved the slight cinnamon flavour of the cookies. I kept eating little bits of the dough. It was so good!

I had never had Graham crackers before so I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they are supposed to be like but I quite liked mine. I think I did roll them out a little too thickly. I mean 1/8 inch doesn’t mean anything to me except that it is roughy 1/8 of roughly 2,5 cm… πŸ™‚ I was a bit too lazy to actually calculate it so I just guessed a bit what would be the right thickness. And then again, I don’t know if mine were wrong or not as I have nothing to compair them with. They did bake longer then the 25 minutes that Lauren had given, but considering the fact that we have a terrible oven in need of replacement; that is probably the reason. O let me first get one thing out of the way:

Graham crackers |

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

Once they were baked I got on with making the middle layer which consists of looooots of sugar, butter, cream and custard. I thought it was very very sweet so to counterbalance that a bit I added about 2-3 tablespoons of lemon curd and that did the trick for me. The sourness got rid of a bit of the sweetness and I love the subtle lemon flavor. But then I am a true lemonlover so anything lemon is good in my mind. But I think it went well together with the rest.

I did think that the qty of the middle layer was not really enough compaired to the other layers. I think my form was about the right size but I felt I had to spread the yellow layer too thin resulting in just a very small layer in the middle. So I actually didn’t spread it through the entire tin but left about a quarter open. So I will have only the bottom on that part… πŸ™‚

Nanaimo bars |

Making the graham crackers was really the biggest part of the work and the rest was pretty easy. I made the photos while the top layer of chocolate had not really been long enough in the fridge so it is a bit too moist still, but I totally loved the taste. As I said I am glad I added the lemon in there as that gave it a little bit of freshness with all the heavy chocolate in there. It is VERY filling and since I just had lunch I really only tasted a tiny bit. Tom did eat an entire ‘bar’ (the one in the photo) and he thought it was extremely good too.

Thankfully as we have quite some of it left… πŸ™‚

So there you have it; the Daring Bakers January challenge; behind schedule but not too bad! I am happy that I still got to make them as I hate missing a challenge!!

To see what the other amazing Daring Bakers have made you can check here

If you want to keep with my changes then substitute the vanilla essence in the graham wafers for 2 tbsp of cinnamon essence and add to the middle layer about 2 large tablespoons of lemon curd. (BTW; I love lemon curd! I can still remember seeing it somewhere for the first time and buying a jar, not really knowing what I was gonna use it for, but I use it for soooo many things! Love it!)

So apologies for posting late. Will do better next time!

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  1. You made a quick come-back, well done!!!! They do look delicious!!!

  2. hehee…really quick! Very good job indeed;DD

  3. Hey, you bounced back really well! I’m impressed that you did them so fast! And adding lemon curd is a great idea!

  4. My middle layer looks like yours – many fellow bakers have much thicker layers. I wonder how because I measured the pan… But still, looks great!

  5. Your crackers and bars look heavenly. I love the idea of putting some lemon curd in the middle layer. Must try it next time.

  6. Genius adding lemon… great looking cookie~

  7. I love your blog – it’s so professional looking! Also, lemon was a great idea. I’ll have to try that next time. πŸ™‚

  8. Awesome comeback!!! :)) i just cut the sugar in my second layer. Hmm.. I shud lemon curd sometime… i feel like it may be too overwhelmingly tart.. but it sounds so fresh and light!

  9. That was real quick, I have to admit. I love this Daring Bakers challenge! These little sweet bites look really yummy.

  10. Late or not, you did an absolutely amazing job on my challenge! I love the sound of lemon curd in the centre, and cinnamon essence would add amazing flavour!

  11. I am super impressed that you got these done so fast! They came out really well!!

  12. Oh, you are wonderful, you managed to make these so quickly! I find myself being very ineffective these days! πŸ˜‰ Those bars look great with your changes. I love cinnamon, and the combination with lemon sounds divine!

  13. That’s lickety-split quick! Nanaimo bars, a tasty Canadian treat that are dangerous to have around the house. Gobble…there goes another one!

  14. Well done at getting these done at lightning speed, they look great.

  15. I have to admit you did a much better rush job than I did! Love your photos, too! I’m adding you to my reader feed! πŸ™‚

  16. you are a trooper! I decided to skip this month’s challenge (just like I skipped last month’s)…I just wasn’t feeling it.
    Your results look very pretty.

  17. I think we can all giggle a little bit — but it’s only because we’ve all been there! Love the look of these bars. They’re one of my favorites, and this challenge is giving me a serious craving.

  18. You came back really well Simone. And I think your graham crackers look perfect…the lemon curd is a great idea too (yum!).

  19. These look really delicious! I’ve always wanted to make them. I like all your changes.

  20. I love the idea of lemon curd to cut down the sweetness–great idea! Beautiful pictures too. πŸ™‚

  21. wow! what a come-back! so fast too .. it took me 5 days to get mine.. πŸ™‚

  22. your nanaimo bars looks divine!

  23. oohh yummy, i love the idea of lemon curd to cut down the sweetness πŸ™‚

  24. Woo Hoo, you did it! Adding the lemon was a great idea, because yes, the middle layer was very rich and sweet! My favorite part was making/eating the graham crackers:) Your bars look great and so do your grahams!!!

  25. Great idea with the lemon curd! These bars have always been super sweet and that’s probably why they are a favourite among kids here in Canada. They just taste like childhood to me, and I’m really glad you liked them!

  26. Wow! I love the changes you made and how you made these so quickly. Great job and excellent photos!

  27. Simone – your Nanaimo’s are gorgeous, and even though I trulyy feel the buttercream filling is just too rich and sweet, I wholeheartedly agree that the addition of citrus makes a difference balance wise – as you could tell by my very lime bars LOL Gorgeous, gorgeous photos – take my breath away!

  28. Gorgeous job & presentation!

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  29. You did it pretty quick for sure:-) I really like it that you used cinnamon. I buy cinnamon flavored graham crackers at home.. our favorite. The bars look gorgeous.. esp the citrus.

  30. Nice turn around, and lemon curd is always a winning combination with super sweet layers. Lovely.

  31. Better late than never- they look fantastic! I have lived near to Nanaimo all my life, and so nanaimo bars have made an appearance at just about every gathering I’ve ever been to!

  32. These look great! I laughed when I read this: “I mean 1/8 inch doesn’t mean anything to me…” because I can totally relate – and then I felt a little dumb, because I realized why it doesn’t mean anything to you, and how it should mean something to me, and then I laughed even harder! Thanks for the laugh, Simone! πŸ™‚

  33. I’m simply captivated by all of the texture you captured in that top photo- I’m drooling over your bars! Another well done challenge, as if you could do any less. πŸ˜‰

  34. woh..well done!

  35. Wow, you are efficient! πŸ™‚ My middle layer is about the same as yours too. I had used freshly grated coconut (thanks to my latest gadget, I’m able to shave coconut with ease), so it wasn’t as sweet and I did reduced the powdered sugar in the middle layer. But I had some chocolate scramble eggs bits in my bottom layer! πŸ˜› Beautiful photos.

  36. I love the combination of lemon and chocolate. It’s superb and so is your dessert, late or not.

  37. Ha ha! I didn’t even get to them late! Good for you! And yours look luscious – brilliant to add a bit of lemon curd, I’ll bet it tasted fantastic! Also love the gooiness of the chocolate topping. Yum!

  38. They look delicious. I’ve never even eaten one, but now I might try baking some of my own. I’m afraid I’m gonna take the easy route and buy the graham crackers though. : )

  39. Better late than never, especially when the Nanaimos look as good as these.
    I actually did mine pretty early on, but forgot all about writing a post on them! Just made the deadline. πŸ™‚

  40. Waw,….Simone!! You did an outstanding job!! Waw,…they turned out excellent, …;I say!!!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,….They look so fabulously tasty!!!

  41. Simone, they look amazing! So perfect … I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  42. Pingback: Pea soup « Junglefrog Cooking

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