Saturday, April 25, 2015

PRIZE WINNING CHOCOLATY NANAIMO BARS

This recipe won "Cookie of the Fair" at the 2006 Iowa State Fair.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp Bird's custard powder* or instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp half-and-half cream

Topping
1 oz white baking chocolate, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp shortening

Line bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

In a small heavy saucepan, cook and stir the butter, sugar and cocoa over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg; return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160 degrees, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Stir the cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans into the hot mixture. Press into the prepared pan and refrigerate 30 minutes or until cold.

To make filling:
In a large bowl, beat the butter and custard powder until blended. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and cream until smooth. Spread over the crust. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the filling is firm.

To make topping:
Fill a small resealable bag with the melted white chocolate; set aside, keeping warm.

In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the filling.

Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag with the white chocolate. Working quickly, pipe parallel lines over chocolate layer, spacing 1/4 to 1/2-inch apart. Working at right angles to the white chocolate lines, pull a toothpick back and forth across the lines, cutting through the piped lines to create a feather design.

Refrigerate 10 minutes or until the topping is just set (do not allow the chocolate to harden completely). Cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*Bird's custard powder is available in some Cost Plus World Market stores or at www.worldmarket.com and at amazon.com




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