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Nanaimo Bars

INGREDIENTS

FOR BASE:

  • Cooking spray, for pan
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c.  (1½ sleeves, crushed) graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

FOR BUTTERCREAM LAYER:

  • 1/4 c. butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. custard powder or instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream

FOR CHOCOLATE TOPPING:

  • 3/4 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Flakey sea salt

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line an 8″-x-8″ pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray.
  2. Set a large heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Add butter and stir until melted, then whisk in sugar, cocoa powder, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes more. 
  3. Remove bowl from heat and fold in graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans, and salt. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press into an even layer. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm.
  4. Meanwhile, make the buttercream layer: in a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, cream butter and custard powder or pudding mix together until smooth. Add powdered sugar and salt and beat until well-mixed and mixture is like coarse sand, then add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread buttercream mixture over crust and refrigerate until firm, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Make chocolate layer: combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for 30 second increments, stirring between each round, until chocolate and butter are completely combined and smooth. Pour mixture over chilled bars smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and refrigerate until chocolate layer is smooth, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into squares when ready to serve.

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