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db: (ba)nanaimo bars

January 28, 2010

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

bananaimo bars

Tell you what, I actually finished this challenge a good week and a half ago. A week and a half. That’s the earliest I’ve ever finished a Daring Bakers Challenge… ever!

But I’m posting late.

bananaimo filling

Late because I’ve been working late, partying late and well… sleeping late when I have the chance.

Lucky for me, the Very Tall Boy was on my back about this challenge early. And enthusiastically.

“Maybe you can make your na-ma-na-bi-no bars Canadian. Because they’re from Canada.” He said, after reading through the recipe with me, one sun-kissed Summer Holiday afternoon.

“With maple syrup? And walnuts?”

“Mmmmyes!” he said, eyes widening. “And maybe you can make it look like an igloo, because of the Winter Olympics.”

“And fill it with a maple mousse instead of the filling and make the chocolate bit white chocolate?” said I, eyes even wider.

A pause.

cutting the dough

“Maybe we should just try make the Graham Crackers first…”

And so we did – well, so I did, for the Very Tall Boy was far too sleepy and I far too wary of chilling requirements to wait much longer. The last bag of sorghum flour was sourced from the local Indian Grocer, and the other two from a stash of glutinous flours that live in a big silver bucket at the bottom of our pantry.

gluten free flours and brown sugar

Mix, roll, chill.

Cut, chill, bake.

ready for baking

“Oh! They taste like honey!” said I on biting into the first.

“Ugh! They taste like honey…” said the mother on biting into the second.

“They taste like calamari” said the Very Tall Boy.

would you like milk with that?

And so we moved on to Nanaimo Bars.

banana nanaimo bars

Ba-Nanaimo Bars to be precise. With a dulce de leche filling because I wanted to make a banoffee pie, but didn’t feel like eating all that cream.

dulce de leche

I boiled my very (very) first can of condensed milk! I crushed up my beautiful graham crackers! I toasted coconut! And walnuts! And added them to a chocolatey base!

And then I spread velvety caramelised milk over the top of it all and tried not to eat it all with my bare fingers.

adding the layers together

And the family ate it and saw that it was good.

(And the Very Tall Boy did the washing up and was rewarded with extra Nanaimo.)

banana nanaimo bars


  • #1
    January 28th, 2010

    LOL better late than never. I like how you’ve bestowed R as Very Tall Boy (assuming I put two and two together correctly). Nicely done – ummm…..banana :D

  • #2
    January 29th, 2010

    I love your bananaimo bars!! Great idea! I have to tackle making my own dulce de leche but yours looks very very good and love the flavors you picked!

  • #3
    January 29th, 2010

    Ooh I love your banana filling. That’s such a great change. I just made the original version because I wanted to know how they tasted that way.

  • #4
    January 29th, 2010

    I’m very glad that Very Tall Boy encouraged you to do this challenge because your bananaimo bars are super! And congrats on boiling your first can of condensed milk! It’s like magic isn’t it? With a hint of danger from the possible explosions :)

  • #5
    January 29th, 2010

    That looks like a delicious twist on the original recipe.

  • #6
    January 29th, 2010

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! I really need to make my own dulce de leche on of these days. Beautiful photos too!

  • #7
    January 29th, 2010

    Your photos, bars amd the banana -dulce de leche filling arebeautiful and mouth watering! Also, love the moniker ‘bananaimo’. Amazing job all around!

  • #8
    January 29th, 2010

    Bananas and dulce de leche together sound great! I would have skipped the original filling altogether for that. The graham crackers were my favourite part, and they didn’t taste like calamari at all! Beautiful photos:)

  • #9
    January 29th, 2010

    Listen….your bananaimo bars look so friggin awesome. I just want one bite ….please!!!!??!!

  • #10
    January 29th, 2010

    I love your Ba-Namaimo Bars!! What a fantastic flavor combination and your plating is beautiful!! :) Well done!

  • #11
    January 29th, 2010

    So beautiful and neat! And boiling condensed milk is dangerously fun – I remember my first can from many years ago…luckily a friend gave me a tip: let the can cool first or you’ll have squirting dulce de leche!

  • #12
    January 29th, 2010

    What a funny post! I love your classy looking bananananananaimo bars. So much fun to say too!

  • #13
    January 30th, 2010

    I love the idea of adding banana and dulce de leche! I just made mine traditional style but yours are making my mouth water just thinking of trying them. Yum!

  • #14
    January 30th, 2010

    Naaaaa, na na-na na-na nah, nah-nuh calamari damacy…

    Fit for a prince indeed

  • #15
    February 1st, 2010

    Not only do your bars look and sound amazing (best variation I’ve seen yet), but your storytelling is great.

  • #16
    February 1st, 2010

    Hi Shez! Haven’t been here in a while – your bananaimo bars look super sensational – and so NEAT! Love it :)

  • #17
    February 2nd, 2010

    Heehee calamari!!!! Oh and thanks for the graham cracker recipe… I’ve got something that I really need it for!

  • #18
    February 14th, 2010

    Yours looks and sound fantastic! I have to confess I stole your banana idea. But I gave you credit in my post!

  • #19
    March 9th, 2010

    Wah… your nanaimo bars look fantastic. Much better than my mushy ones :P

  • #20
    March 23rd, 2010

    @Karen: He’s tall right? And everything else I tried to dub hin didn’t seem to quite fit…

    @Simone: I’d been terrified of it for so long, but finally go past my ddl fears. Onward and upward!

    @Megan: I was curious too, but only had the sugar capacity for one batch.

    @Steph: I’m addicted. If I had a sweeter tooth, I’d be boiling up cans like nobody’s business!

    @Liz: I’m glad you like it :)

    @Tonic: Be brave! Give it a go! It will only end in gooey, sticky happiness!

    @Lisa: Thank you! It was the VTB who came up with bananaimo. And it stuck :)

    @Mary: I’ve frozen some of the grahams up to make cheesecake (but keep nibbling on them instead). Yummy…

    @Karin: Oh you’re too sweet :) If all else fails, grab a cookie, add banana, whipped cream, caramel & chocolate and go go go!

    @Jill: Thanks so much – it was swelteringly hot over here when I was photographing. I was so stressed about them melting everywhere!

    @mdmoiselle d.: I wish someone had told me that. I got impatient and ended up with dulce in the sink and on my hands and on my apron…

    @Y: Thanks lovely :)

    @Rebecca: They certainly were yummy – I had the VTB’s family eyeing off the last pieces.

    @The Ninja: If you write a song, can I have royalties?

    @Sarah: Thank you – that means so much to me to have you say that :)

    @Shaz: Hiiiii! Hot sharp knife. Works wonders!

    @Trisha: He’s crazy, that boy, but awesome.

    @Lori: Thanks Lori, glad you liked the idea. And thanks for the credit!!

    @joanna: But it’s all in learning new things, isn’t it? That’s why I heart DB.

  • #21
    May 26th, 2010

    I loooove the name Ba-Nanaminos :) So cute! AND, they look just fabulous!

    xxMK
    Delightful Bitefuls

Shez