Happy 150th birthday, Canada!
I made one of Tristan’s favorites: Nanaimo bars. But not just any Nanaimo bars. Nope. These are salted caramel Nanaimo bars. Salted. Caramel. Needless to say, you should make these this weekend whether you’re Canadian or not!
For the bottom layer, I used both toasted coconut and toasted almonds. Toasting the nuts first helps to bring out the flavor. I also used salted crackers (Kirkland’s Ancient Grain Crackers) rather than graham crackers since that’s what I had, and it was delicious! After you’ve made the bottom layer mixture, press it into a square pan lined with parchment paper. I folded a piece of plastic wrap and pressed it in using my hand. Keep it in the fridge while you make your middle layer.
Almost all Nanaimo bars use custard powder in their middle layer. I had a bag of it in my cupboard but it was long expired because I never use the stuff! I wasn’t about to buy another bag just to have it sit in the cupboard again so I left it out. After combining the ingredients spread it over the bottom layer and put it back in the fridge while you make your salted caramel.
Now, you’re probably thinking “Wait, I thought we were making caramel. Why are you showing me a photo of melted chocolate?” Well, I got so excited after making caramel that I completely forgot to take photos. I only used half the amount in my recipe because I personally like a thin layer of caramel, but I’m posting the full amount because I’m sure there are people who would prefer more caramel. After you make the salted caramel, cool it to room temperature before spreading it over the middle layer. I sped up the cooling process by putting the bowl of warm caramel into a bigger bowl with ice water inside and stirring until it was room temperature.
While the Nanaimo bars that are now covered in salted caramel are chilling in the fridge, make the top layer. Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl, and melt it using a double boiler. Let the chocolate cool before spreading it onto the caramel layer and chilling in the fridge once again.
When the salted caramel Nanaimo bars have completely chilled, take them out of the pan and cut them into however many pieces as you like. I waited about an hour before taking the Nanaimo bars out of the fridge and cut them into 16 pieces. I wanted to share these with my coworkers so I halved the pieces before bringing them to work. Although, Tristan was not very keen on sharing so I only brought half the whole batch to work.
These salted caramel Nanaimo bars were absolutely delicious! And I’d say even better on the second day. The layers settle and the flavors marry well overnight. The saltiness and slight bitterness of the caramel really pair well with the nutty chocolatey sweetness of the Nanaimo bars.
Not a fan of Nanaimo bars? Try my Moose Tracks muffins instead!
Happy Canada Day!
I’m bringing these salted caramel Nanaimo bars to Angie’s fiesta! Come join us for more delicious recipes!