Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Daring Bakers' Challenge

The first time I tried Nanaimo bars was in Whistler, Canada.  I was there for a meeting and was told by a colleague that I should try this quintessential Canadian dessert.  The name in itself was intriguing enough, and I--always a sucker for new sweets--was smitten from the first bite.  

So when Daring Bakers announced Nanaimo Bars as the January challenge, I couldn't have been happier.  But then I noticed two things:  the first was that we were asked to make the graham crackers used crushed in the recipe from scratch.  The second was that they were supposed to be gluten-free.  Well thank goodness there was a caveat that we could substitute whole wheat flour if we wanted to.  While I would have gladly made the gluten-free version, there is no way in the world that I would be able to find the right ingredients in my town.  Luckily, I had picked up some whole wheat pastry flour when I was in Oregon last December, and I easily substituted it in the recipe.

Making the graham crackers was loads of fun and the baked cookies were delicious, even if I did keep mine in the oven a minute or two too long.

I made the graham crackers a day ahead and then prepared the bars the next day.  Each layer of the bars was equally enjoyable to prepare.  And the finished dessert was absolutely wonderful and hard to stay out of.  Each bite was the perfect combination of sweet, slightly bitter, and creamy, and I love the difference in texture between the bottom and middle layers.  Verdict:  January challenge a hit!

The January 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen.  Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafters and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month.  The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and


  1. Man those look delicious. Feel free to make them again when we´re invited over:-)

  2. The bars look really nice.

  3. I love the fluted edges on your bars--they look fantastic! :)

  4. Thanks for your kind comments, all! I love this dessert!