Wednesdays Unplugged – Nanaimo Bars

"Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster." ~ Elias Canetti

NOTE: I spend my
Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share.

We were treated to a big tin of Linda's Christmas cookies last week. Different schedules meant we didn't get together over the holidays but when we got together to see 'Hyde Park on Hudson' she said she had a tin of cookies to share. As always, they were fabulous!



The most popular delicasies in Linda's tin were the Nanaimo Bars, which have long been favorites of mine. This week's recipe comes from a very yellow recipe I cut from the Star Tribune years ago. I would guess Linda used the 'official' Nanaimo Bars recipe, which calls for vanilla custard powder instead of the vanilla pudding mix in this recipe. These no-bake bars originated in Canada and became famous after a local Canadian housewife submitted the recipe to a 1950's fundraising cookbook in Nanaimo, British Columbia.



Nanaimo bars2

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (32 squares)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a mdeium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in the granulated sugar and cocoa powder until well blended. Add egg and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, crumbs, cocnut and almonds. Press into an ungreased 9 x 9 inch pan.


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups posdered sugar

In the small mixing bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the 1/4 cup softened butter and the pudding mix. Beat in the milk and then the powdered sugar. Spread over the base layer and chill at least 15 minutes.


  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the 2 tablespoons butter and stir until butter is melted. Allow to cool slightly, then pour and spread over the filling. Refrigerate until set and cut into small bars.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – EmailMinneapolis Realtor Who Cooks


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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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