Nanaimo Bars: The sweetest slice of Canadiana

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Nanaimo bars have to be Canada's sweetest contribution to the world of food... like, literally.

So, if you're ever craving sugar, and I mean really craving sugar, this recipe is here for you!

Nanaimo bars

Makes 16 bars

For the bottom layer:
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup desiccated coconut

For the filling:
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the topping:
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare a 9x9-inch pan by lining it with parchment paper.

For the bottom layer, set a large heatproof bowl over 1-inch of simmering water and add in the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Melt the mixture together until fully combined.  Beat in the egg and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 30­­–45 seconds.  Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, and coconut.  Press this into the bottom of your prepared pan and pop it in the fridge to chill.

For the filling, in a medium bowl, beat together the butter and custard powder.  Slowly add in the icing sugar followed by the milk, vanilla, and salt.  Continue to beat until well combined and light and fluffy.  Spread the filling in an even layer over the base and pop it back in the fridge to allow it to continue to chill.

For the topping, either in a double boiler or in the microwave, melt together the chocolate chips, butter, and salt.  Stir well to combine and allow it to cool just slightly.  Pour the topping over the custard layer and spread into an even layer.  Pop the whole pan back into the fridge to cool completely.  To cut, use a very sharp warm knife and prepare for a sugar crash in approximately 2 hours!