Peanut butter nanaimo bars

By Emily Richards
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  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered (icing) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder (optional)


  • 226 grams bittersweet (dark) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons salted roasted peanuts, chopped


  1. Base: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 33 by 23 centimeter baking pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add graham cracker crumbs, coconut, peanuts and chocolate chips, stirring well. Press into prepared pan. Bake for ten to 15 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch. Let cool completely.
  2. Filling: In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, cream and vanilla. On low speed, beat in sugar and custard powder (if using). Spread evenly over base and smooth top. Chill for at least one hour or until firm.
  3. Topping: In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot (not simmering) water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Spread over filling and sprinkle with peanuts, if desired. Refrigerate for at least one hour or until topping is firm. Cut into bars.
  4. Tip: Custard powder can be found in British food stores and in some well-stocked grocery and bulk food stores. Typically used to make custard or pudding, it gives this filling a slightly sweeter flavor and is a traditional ingredient in this Canadian treat.
  5. Tip: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month.

Recipe credit:  Courtesy of Best of Bridge Comfort Food by Sylvia Kong and Emily Richards © 2019 Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.


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This recipe appears in Best of Bridge Comfort Food (© 2019)

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