So a few weekends ago we went to Leeds to celebrate the baby blessing of my adorable new nephew (more to come on that in another blog post). Aren't his eyebrows the most adorable thing you've ever seen?! How I love this cute pie!!
We did what the Jones family do best when we get together...and we ate alot! We headed over to the Kirkstall Abbey Farmers Market which I was delighted about because I do love a good farmer's market, and this was a really good one! with lots of super tasty stalls in a very picturesque setting.
I was super excited to come across this Nanaimo Bar lady. As many of you may know Nanaimo Bars are a Canadian speciality..hailing from the town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island that I was lucky enough to visit during our time spent over there! Traditional Nanaimo Bars consist of a chocolate biscuit, coconut and nut crumb layer, covered in a layer of custard and topped with chocolate. However, whilst I was living in Vancouver I got to try a few other varieties like mint, coconut and raspberry...but these were usually few and far between with the traditional Nanaimo Bar being featured most prominently. So when I saw the Nananimo Lady and all her variations she was offering I was spoilt for choice! We picked up a traditional, peanut butter and oreo flavour bar to sample and they were seriously delish! Like better than any Nanaimo Bar we'd ever eaten in Canada!!
So...as I pondered what to bake up for our Canadian Thanksgiving feast at the beginning of the month, I knew I'd have to pay homage to the Nanaimo Bar but give it a Nanaimo Bar lady twist! and my Oreo Overload Nanaimo Bar was born!
I decided, like always, to go all out so there were crushed Oreos in the biscuit base, crushed Oreos in the vanilla pudding layer (which you can use as an alternative to custard) and crushed Oreos in the chocolate layer too! Byron declared these the best Nanaimo Bars he'd ever tasted, and it made being away from Canada this year that little bit easier to drown our sorrows with the sugary goodness of our dessert!
Yes...it is hard being back, really hard. Look at what we were doing last thanksgiving weekend - hiking to beautiful beautiful Garibaldi Provincial Park...
Eating our thanksgiving feast with awesome friends (rather than on our lonesome this time around!)
and biking the sea wall around Stanley Park and enjoying the amazing colours of fall!
It's a struggle to experience life after Vancouver! but hopefully one day in the not so distant future we will be back in that beautiful city! For now, I'll bake Nanaimo Bars and pretend I'm still there...ignorance is bliss :)
Oreo Overload Nanaimo Bars:
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup nice biscuit crumbs
1 1/2 cups crushed oreo crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups icing sugar
1/8 tsp coconut extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla for all you crazies who don't like coconut)
2 tbsp instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 cup crushed oreo crumbs
3/4 cup dark chocolate
1/4 cup milk chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
4/5 broken oreo cookies to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.
Line a 7"x11" tin with parchment paper.
For the crust: Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until combined.
Press the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and set it aside to cool.
For the filling: In a medium sized mixed bowl, combine the butter, 1 cup of the sugar and the coconut extract, beating until smooth.
In a small bowl, combine the instant vanilla pudding mix with the milk, stirring until thick and smooth.
Add the pudding mix to the butter/sugar mix and stir to combine.
Add the remaining sugar, and beat until the filling is smooth. Stir in the crushed oreo crumbs. Spread it over the cooled crust, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
For the ganache: Combine both chocolates and cream in a saucepan. Heat until the cream is steaming. Stir until smooth.
Spread the ganache onto the bars. Place random broken pieces of oreo on top of the ganache. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
Cut into small bars or rectangles to serve.
Eat and enjoy!