Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge Jan 2010: Nanaimo Bars

January 2010's challenge was making graham crackers, and then using said crackers to make nanaimo bars. Interesting given that I had never eaten a graham cracker, and never heard of nanaimo bars, so had no idea what these treats should look or taste like. Thanks to the interweb I had some idea, but little details like the right thickness and texture of graham crackers remained (and still remain) a mystery.

Graham cracker dough is a sticky bastard. I had some extreme moments of frustration when it persisted in gluing itself to the benchtop despite copious amounts of flour being used to prevent such sticking. I worked out that the freezer is my friend. If you blast the dough in there frequently for 5 minutes or so it seems to become less tricky.

The first batch I baked turned out to be way too thick and slightly glued together, resulting in this:

Thankfully, in a rare moment of good sense, I had decided not to roll all the dough out at once just in case something went awry. I switched to round cookie cutters and rolled the dough thinner and had some success:

These ones developed some serious crunch, making them perfect for whizzing in the food processor to become crumbs that formed the base of the nanaimo bars.

The nanaimo bars themselves were fairly straightforward to make, I've made a few slices in my time and it turns out that the American term 'bar' is what we in Australia would deem a 'slice'.

I did find the finished product incredibly sickly and sweet, so I can see why other bakers include cherries or other bits and pieces in the recipe, as it would probably cut the richness of all the butter. So I wasn't a fan of the bars, but the graham crackers are pretty lovely.

Thankfully R and the other nanaimo bar consumers thought they were delicious!

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


  1. beautiful work..very neat!!

  2. Thanks! It was a challenge in the heat here, but I guess you'd have that same situation in Goa. Yours look great!

  3. As a recipient and delighted eater of the above slice things, I can disagree with WhatD's verdict and say I actually really liked them.

    I generally don't like super sweet things either. Yummo.

  4. How come your nearest and dearest got these and I didn't??????? Seriously, when I make biscuit crumbs I just put them on a board, cover them with a sheet of greaseproof paper and whack them with the rolling pin. It's quick and easy and you don't have to wash anything up afterwards.

  5. Because, msbookworm, you are virtuous and not a sweet food fiend like everybody else I know! Theo tried one but rejected it...