Saturday, December 8, 2012

All Natural Nanaimo Bars

rawnaimo bars

When I think of nanaimo bars, I think of afternoon tea fundraisers and Winnie the Pooh.

My mother used to bring me to the teas held by the Cancer Society, and there were always trays of sweets laid out on tables, each piled high with little squares of sweetness in various forms. Nanaimo bars were always my favourite - three layers of intensely sweet deliciousness. I would eat each layer separately, in a routine-like fashion.

The first thing was to peel off the thin layer of smooth chocolate ganache from the top, sometimes break in two, and either devour immediately or let it melt on my tongue. The filling was the best part: creamy, rich, and so sweet it led to an instant sugar rush. Then the base, which helped me come down from my sugar-load filling experience. It was chewy, less sweet, and full of coconut - a satisfying finish.

And once I was high on nanaimo bars, I'd hit up the movie station and watch Winnie the Pooh movies. They were kind of the bomb.

So yes, I had a bit of a thing for nanaimo bars as a kid. I'd head straight for them at teas, Christmas parties, and showers like a homing pigeon.

I still have a fondness for nanaimo bars; every once in a while I'll buy one of those giant squares from a coffee shop, eat it too quickly and then spend the rest of the day in a sugar coma.

Then, a while back, a craving for nanaimo bars hit me, but instead of heading to the nearest Starbucks, I decided to make my own version - one that wouldn't have me sugar crashing within ten minutes of eating. I came up with a dessert that's fairly similar to the original, but not nearly as sweet, and with enough "good" things in it that I didn't feel bad eating more than one...or three...

And judging from my roommates' reactions to them, I'd say they felt the same way too.