Jan 26, 2010

Challenging myself : Daring Bakers January Challenge Nanaimo Bars

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 www.nanaimo.ca.

First of all they are delicious. I love them the kids love them, even my husband loves them.

Believe me this is a bad, really bad thing.

You don`t understand?

Look at this picture.

This is my son ( the 1 minute older one) and he is missing a tooth.

My little crazy boys had nothing better to do than to stuff themselves with the Nanaimo Bars and high on sugar run around the living room.

There was a bang, a scream and a missing tooth that I later found under the table.

Don`t you just love it when something like this happens ( to somebody else).

So we took him to the dentist, everything should be fine. And in the car on the way home he already asked if he could get some more Namo.

I will make them again and you should too.

Recipe Source: Graham Wafers — 101 Cookbooks  Lauren adapted it to be gluten-free. The adapted recipe is below.
Nanaimo Bars — City of Nanaimo 

Notes for gluten-free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars:

• Glutinous rice flour does not contain any gluten, as it is made from a type of rice called glutinous (or sweet) rice.
• The graham wafer dough is very sticky. Make sure you are flouring (with sweet rice flour) well, or the dough will be difficult to remove from the surface you roll it out on. Also be sure to keep it cold. You do not want the butter to melt.
• I chose these flours because of their availability. Tapioca starch/flour and sweet rice flour can often be found in Asian grocery stores, or in the Asian section of you grocery store. Sorghum can be slightly more difficult to find, but it can be replaced with brown rice flour, millet flour or other alternatives.
• In the Nanaimo Bars, it is very important that the chocolate be cool but still a liquid, otherwise the custard layer will melt, and it will mix with the chocolate, being difficult to spread. Allow the chocolate mixture to come to room temperature but not solidify before spreading the top layer on.

Variations allowed:
• Although I highly recommend using gluten-free flours, as the chemistry is very interesting and the end result can be amazing, you are allowed to use wheat.
• If making them gluten-free, no wheat, barley, rye, triticale, kamut, spelt, durum, semolina, or other gluten containing ingredients may be used. Removing those ingredients ensures it is safe for those with Celiac Disease and other health issues where gluten causes problems. If you do plan on serving this to someone on a gluten-free diet, also ensure no cross-contamination occurs.

Preparation time:
• Graham Wafers: 30 to 45 minutes total active prep, 2 ½ hours to overnight and 45 minutes inactive prep.
• Nanaimo Bars: 30 minutes.

Equipment required:
• Food Processor
• Bowls
• Parchment paper or silpats
• Cookie sheets
• Double boiler or pot and heatproof bowl
• 8 by 8 inch square pan
• Hand mixer or stand mixer (You may use a wooden spoon, but this makes it much easier!)
• Saucepan

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have 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 sweet rice 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 sweet rice 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 (180 degrees Celsius).
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 25 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 (300 mL) 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.

Nanaimo Bars

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (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 icing 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.

Additional Information:

These bars freeze very well, so don’t be afraid to pop some into the freezer.

The graham wafers may be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Mine lasted about that long.

If making the graham crackers with wheat, replace the gluten-free flours (tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, and sorghum flour) with 2 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose wheat flour, or wheat pastry flour. Watch the wheat-based graham wafers very closely in the oven, as they bake faster than the gluten-free ones, sometimes only 12 minutes.

For the Nanaimo Bars, if making with wheat, replace the gluten-free graham wafer crumbs with equal parts wheat graham wafer crumbs!


Lauren said...

Oh my goodness! Sounds like quite the event =D. I'm thrilled you enjoyed my challenge! Your bars look amazing!

chef_d said...

oh my goodness! i laughed when i read this, your nanaimo bars must be so good, your son had to have one right after losing his tooth!

Mary said...

Wow! That is some sugar high! I'm a bit worried about my teeth too, as I keep nibbling on more graham crackers. Glad you liked them!

Anna said...

I also loved the nanaimo!!! They are delicious - even though a little too sweet for me ;) Love the pics!
Cheers from rainy Ireland! Anula.

Top Fuzz said...

Brilliant to have a story to go with the bars! I guess not so brilliant to lose a tooth though! :)

Great pics and your bars look delicious x

Winnie said...

Ok that is too funny that your son lost a tooth over these! Yours look yummy and my kids LOVED this challenge too!

Anonymous said...

Too bad about your son's tooth! Your nanaimo bars look great!

Fabi said...

In my place no one got hurted because the Nanaimo bars but I agree, they're dangerous. You can't eat just one. Hope you're boyb is fine.
Great job by the way, your bars look so yummy!
Cheers from Spain.

Poires au Chocolat said...

Gosh, that's quite a side-story! Your bars look really yummy too.

Unknown said...

Oh no! I saw this photo of your son on the DB thread last night and I wondered how he'd done it. Poor little thing! Your bars look very nice, see you in the DB kitchen next time.

Deeba PAB said...

What drama in real life! Whoa...you poor thing!! Well I think I might have gotten a sugar high with your gorgeous bars .. & lost a few teeth too!!
Well done on the challenge!

Sophie said...

Thanks for popping by :)

I had been wondering what the story was behind the missing tooth after you left us with a cliffhanger on the forums!

Great story - hope everything is okay! And of course, the bars look great :D

Nina said...

Loved reading ur blog..sounds like quite an experience:).Great bars...loved it:)

Jeanne said...

Your bars look delicious! And the tooth story is very cute. I'm glad that nobody was seriously hurt because of the bars! I will definitely be making them again as well.

A. C. Parker said...

Love the picture of your son, missing teeth and all. I can so relate to the bit about the kids fueling on sugar and running around the house. Happily, my son was put off by the crushed espresso beans I put on my bars, even though he could pick them off. Or, maybe that's not a good thing: it means more Nanaimos for me, and then I will be running crazy (and possibly will require even more trips to the gym). The bars are that good. Glad to be a daring baker with you and thanks for commenting on my post. Cheers! ~ Allison

Pontch said...

great bars
give a hug to your little one :}

Angelica said...

Thankyou for sharing this story! I know it probably wasn't funny at all when it happened but it'll make a good story to tell them again when they get older :D I can imagine how hyper they were with all the sugar in these bars, lol.

Anonymous said...

That's what these challenges are about the stories they create! even if a bit side related! well done, great looking bars!

Tia said...

these are close to my heart and my home - vancouver BC baker here :) awesome job on the challenge!

Irina@PastryPal said...

Ha! Well, that's the cost of eating something as good as Nanaimos, I guess. Hopefully he'll get to keep his other teeth when eating the rest of the bars.

Liz said...

Glad to hear the dentist said it would be okay! Hopefully it wont happen every time he eats a Nanaimo ;)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

They are good aren't they! :D Hehe that's so cute how he asked for more!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you'll have to make them again and again now because they're associated with such a funny family memory. Glad to hear that your son is OK and that your family loved the bars!

Karin said...

BOYS!! Oh my gosh!! I have a 10 year old...I have been here!! Your nanaimos look great!!!

Audax said...

SO cute that photo of the missing tooth I laughed so much when I saw it LOL LOL. Lovely looking bars and yes they are so rich and delicious well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Kris Ngoei said...

Ha ha the missing tooth and the overly sweet and rich nanaomi bars... They seemed connected? :-)

Anyway, your bars look delicious, I understand why the kids are so into them...

Sawadee from Bangkok,

nikki said...

What a story you'll have to share as your children grow, the sweet bars that snagged the tooth and still he wants more! Thanks for sharing and your bars look fabulous!

PAM said...

Your bars look great and loved your story about the missing tooth. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Barbara Bakes said...

That is the best Nanaimo story I've read! Yours must have been extra delicious!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's some serious Nanaimo excitement! Glad everyone's okay and your bars look wonderful!

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

I loved reading the tooth experience with your baking experience--your bars look delicious! :)

Unknown said...

These were so sweet, I was ready to run around the table chasing someone after just a bite!

Lisa said...

What a cute story, and the photo is just priceless! Your Nanaimo bars turned out lovely, but I'm not surprised :) Outstanding job!

Eat4Fun said...

Glad to hear that your son is going to be okay! That sugar rush sure is an amazing thing. Your Nanaimo bars look delicious... as your family and a souvenir tooth can attest too. lol!

Sue said...

I've seen a lot of these DB bars around the Twitter world. Yours look particularly delicious! Cute story too.