Monday, May 5, 2014

Vegan Nanaimo Bars - a Decadent No Bake Treat

Oh yeah. Nanaimo bar spam right here. That's what this post is. So what who cares?

I sure don't! I love nanaimo bars, just love 'em! The thin chocolate topping, the smooth, creamy centre, and the moist, flavourful, perfectly textured base... *runs to the fridge, fork in hand*

Mmm there's nothing quite like a nanaimo bar and they're so easy to pull together too.

We've posted this nanaimo bar recipe once before but I think it's worth repeating ;) This time however we added chocolate extract to the base instead of vanilla extract and I think it really heightened the chocolate flavour. And made it taste even better, if that's possible! 

Chocolate extract can be extremely difficult to find, as we know very well. Caitlin actually just stumbled upon a bottle one fateful day in clearance. You can order it online I do believe but it can be pretty pricey. BTW apparently the price of chocolate will be going up?! What's a chocolate fiend to do? 

Oooo that's my favourite thing right there. When you crack through the chocolate topping and all the filling smooshes out the sides. You must keep your nanaimo bars in the fridge until consumption so you can experience cracking through the chocolate. Just kidding! You can eat your nanaimo bars however you like, this isn't a tyranny!

What's your favourite no-bake treat? Do you even like no-bake desserts? Do you feel weird about eating raw margarine like I sometimes do? Should I even let little things like raw margarine bother me? Why have these questions become about me? hahaha 

These nanaimo bars are thicker than the last batch we made. I think this way the filling and base are more equally proportioned but I might like thinner better. Use an 8" baking dish if you prefer the above bars and if you prefer thinner then use a 9" baking dish.

Vegan Nanaimo Bars
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flax 
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs 
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped cocoa nibs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons custard powder
2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegan margarine, softened
2 cups icing sugar

Chocolate Coating
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Add water and to flax set aside until thickened.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine margarine, brown sugar, agave, cocoa, and flax mixture. Stir until everything is incorporated and thickened. Stir in the chocolate extract. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, cocoa nibs, and nuts. Add to the mixture in the saucepan, and mix well. You may want to line a baking dish with parchment paper but I don’t find it necessary. Pack the mixture into a baking dish either 8 or 9 inch.

Cream together margarine, coconut milk, vanilla and custard powder. Add the icing sugar and mix until smooth. Spread over bottom layer, than place in fridge to chill.

Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and place in microwave for 30 secs. Remove from microwave and mix. If the chocolate isn't completely melted, which it probably won’t be, put it in the microwave for another 30 secs. Let the chocolate cool for a bit but don’t let it harden the take the base out of the fridge and pour your chocolate over it using a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly. Put it in the fridge to chill for one hour.

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