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Saturday, March 1, 2014

{S} Nanaimo Bars from the THM Inspired Test Kitchen

You know how you click on a link to read a recipe and the blogger tells you an entire story about how their recipe is going to change your life and they use all kinds of funny anecdotes and make you want to be their BFF and all you can think is, "For the love!  Give me the recipe already!"  Forgive me because I'm going to be that annoying blogger today.  But, if you want to scroll past all my witty anecdotes, the recipe is at the bottom. 

Last week I was on a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle and was desperately hungry for something chocolatey on an E day and came up with some yummo Brownies from my "THM Test Kitchen".  My sweet friend, Jennifer Griffin, who many of you know from Home With a Purpose was so kind to share my blog link with you (because nobody knows me- haha!).  She also shared my recipe for Angel Food Cake and the Rockin' Roll Cake too!

I had a great response from the brownies and in the Facebook thread I mentioned that I have an open test kitchen and would love people to pass along their favorite pre-THM desserts for me to adapt to be on plan!

One of the ladies said, "Hey!  Do you have a converted recipe for Nanaimo Bars?"

I replied, "Sure!  Those are my absolute favorite!" "Eh?  What is a Nanaimo Bar?"

So, off I went to learn a little more about this treat.  Apparently,The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin popular across North America. It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the west coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. (Source: Wikipedia)  You feel smarter now, don't you?

The basis for my recipe is from the Cooking Classy site:   Now, prepare yourself for this blogger's pretty pictures and neatly cut squares of dessert perfection.   I am ashamed to tell you that I am a photographer, but have no patience for still-life or the pretty plates to match.  I'm all about the active portrait session and the blushing bride, but don't let my picture fool you... this is GOOD.  I mean, sneak-back-around-midnight-with-a-fork-and-hide-in-the-pantry kind of good.

This is a no-bake bar and really wasn't hard to make at all.  It made a big ole' casserole dish full that I served to our family of five and the grandparents for a birthday treat and we had over half left so it goes a long way.  We had just had a big meal and when I offered dessert I only had one taker (out of seven people!)  Then I served it to him and all of a sudden, everybody straightened up in their chair and said, "Hey!  I'll take a little of that!"

Without further ado (and there was a lot of ado here today).... here you go!  This is a step-by-step layering dessert that doesn't involve any baking. I may have mentioned that, but save the ovens, sisters!

Nanaimo Bars THM Style {S}

Dry Crust:  In your high speed blender, place the following ingredients and then blend until thoroughly crushed into a thick flour.  Don't over blend into a paste.  After blended, set aside.

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
Wet Crust: In a saucepan, place 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup).  Melt and take off heat.  Stir in the following and whisk until blended:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup xylitol
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses
Now, put your saucepan back on a low heat and add in a beaten egg.  Continue to quickly whisk egg into chocolatey mixture for 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Take saucepan off heat and add a splash of vanilla.

Remember your nut/coconut flour mixture?  Now is the time to dump it all into your saucepan and thoroughly combine wet and dry crust ingredients.  Layer this crust into the bottom of a casserole dish (9x12) or if you want a slightly thicker bar, a 9x9 pan.  Cover with plastic and put into freezer for 20 minutes.

Now for the filling.  I went a little different route this time than the classic bar mixture because I wanted a thicker filling.

Combine the following with an electric beater.  Add in your ingredients ONE AT A TIME until creamy so that your cream cheese doesn't clump.

  • 3 packages (8 ounce each) full fat cream cheese. (Blend until creamy before adding any of the other ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Swansons vanilla whey powder
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Pull your pan back out of the freezer and pour your creamy mixture on top.  Spread out evenly.  Recover with plastic and freeze again for 15-20 minutes.

Last layer is your chocolate topping.  You can melt a bag of sugar-free chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of hot water and mix in a saucepan OR you can make a batch of Skinny Chocolate (see THM book for recipe) using extra virgin coconut oil.  After you mix this up (must be hot), let sit for a minute and then pour over the creamy filling mixture and then put back in your freezer for a final 15 minutes.

Store in the fridge after serving.  

All done!  Serve and enjoy!  I know this recipe seems a bit tedious, but it really was one of the faster recipes I've ever made.  Let me know what you think!

Want to Pin it?  Here is your link:

Have a blessed day!



Mae Raymond said...

I love you for this!! I've got a serious addiction to Nanamio bars... and I HATE to eat the regular ones any more.

Now... I can indulge often AND still be ON PLAN with THM! YIPEE!!!!

Angela Noelle said...

Great looking recipe! Can't wait to try it : )

GigiKaren said...

sounds absolutely awesome! Seems like alot of ingredients. How many servings do you think it makes?