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 http://www.nanaimo.ca/.
We had the option to make these non-gluten free and that is what I did. I did not want to buy all the different ingredients for a one time shot of gluten free baking.
These bars are very good but a little time consuming because you must first make home made graham crackers. The remainder of the recipe is quite easy. I cut them in small pieces because they are very sweet.
I took mine to the beauty shop and a Canadian woman was there. She tried the Nanaimo's and said they were really good and just like she used to buy in Cananda.
Here is the recipe the way I made it:
2 ½ Cups plus 2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 Teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
3 ½ Ounces Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 Cup Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover
5 Tablespoons Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit .
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 15 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.
For Nanaimo Bars
For Nanaimo Bars
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
5 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 Cups Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 Cup Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 Cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Ounces Semi-sweet chocolate
1 Ounce Unsalted Butter
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and powdered sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
4. Cut into desired size bars.