Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Nanaimo Bars - margarine-free!
I've been on a nanaimo bar kick lately for some reason, after not having had any for at least seven years. I was using Sarah Kramer's recipe for awhile, but the 1 cup of margarine in every batch made me feel bad. Not that I am against fat (or sugar, for that matter), but margarine is just so processed and devoid of nutritiousness that I can't justify using a whole cup in a recipe.
So, given that Canada day is tomorrow (and tomorrow has already come, in many parts of the country), I bring you this Canadian delicacy, a tweaked version using primarily coconut oil and avocado for the fat and buttery creaminess. The avocado adds a lovely green color as well. It does not taste any healthier, that is for sure! In the future I may start subbing ground outs and sugar for the cookie crumbs as I don't see why they are really necessary, but this is my current version.
Oh and also, please excuse the messy photos! I royally suck at cutting things (which is why you see more whole cakes and pies than slices of them on this blog...). Please attribute the messiness to my lack of skill and not the recipe itself!
½ cup coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cane sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (dutch-processed is best)
2 tablespoons flax meal
5 tablespoons cold water
½ cup walnuts
1 ¼ cup flaked or finely shredded (or whatever) unsweetened coconut
1 cup vegan graham cracker-ish cookies
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon milk (I used coconut because I had it, but soy, almond or rice should also work)
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pinch salt
100 g good quality dark chocolate
First, prepare the bottom layer. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan on low heat, then add the salt and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, process the vegan cookies in a food processor until they become a fine meal. Add the walnuts and lightly pulse, until the walnuts are finely shopped but not powdery. Mix the flax and water in a small bowl, then add to the food processor along with the coconut and chocolate sauce. Process until well-mixed. Press evenly into an ungreased square baking pan and set aside.
Now prepare the top layer. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add the chocolate and salt, stirring often. Once melted, remove from heat (the top layer is prepared before the middle one because it needs time to cool down).
Now the middle layer. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend really well.
Spread the middle layer mixture evenly over the bottom layer, then pour the chocolate sauce on top. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to cool, then transfer to the freezer (otherwise the middle layer will get quite gooey). Before serving, let set at room temperature for a few minutes so the chocolate doesn’t crack when you try to cut it into squares.
Happy Canada day, everyone!