Monday, July 11, 2011

Kitschy Canadian!

I'd like to send a giant thank you shout-out to Mabel Jenkins! Mabel was the 1950s housewife in Canada responsible for inventing the now-popular Canadian dessert — Nanaimo Bars! These mouth-watering sweet, creamy bars are made with a layer of graham cracker/walnut/coconut crust topped with a buttercream frosting followed by a layer of melted chocolate:

Did you just die a little from happiness on the inside? Well, I did when I bit into one of these last week. I got the recipe from the June page of Canadian kitsch queen Sarah Kramer's 2011 Go Vegan Wall Calendar. I usually always make the recipe of the month during that month, but June was so busy. So I waited until July to try these. Now I can't believe I waited so long! I may have a new fave dessert.

Ms. Mabel came up with this recipe to submit to the annual Ladysmith and Cowichan Women's Institute Cookbook. Her home in Ladysmith was just south of the city of Nanaimo, hence the bars' name. Who knows whatever happened that legendary home cook? But her bars will live on forever.

Apparently, they're pretty popular with the Canadians. And now they'll be pretty popular in my kitchen too. I shared these with co-workers and they were very quickly gobbled up.

If you don't have the Go Vegan Wall Calendar, never fear. You can also find the recipe in Kramer's Vegan A Go-Go or watch the video on Everyday Dish TV!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, these are known across Canada. If you google "vegan Nanaimo bars" you will find other vegan variations of the recipe including raw recipes.
There is the original but there other versions like mint, cherry, and coffee (admittedly those flavours I have seen for regular not vegan Nanaimo bars).

Another recipe from British Columbia, Canada is Squamish bars which are made with two types of cereal, peanut butter, corn syrup and chocolate. Okay the recipe uses butter and light cream but those are easy to replace with Earth Balance and soy milk. Easy to find on Google. Yummy!

Alessandra said...

Actually, I didn't know them, but I don't know much about Canadian food, I confess! Anyway, they look yummy as!

Ciao
A.

T said...

Oooh yum, these sound amazing! Especially the crust, what a great combo!

laceylovesfood said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I sure died when I saw that picture and read the description. That looks sooo good.
Do you read Oh, She Glows? I think Angela has some fun versions of nanaimo bars posted on her blog!

Ricki said...

These babies are popular across Canada, actually--I used to ADORE them (well, I still do, even if I can no longer eat them). ;) They look great!! Yay for Sarah Kramer coming up with a vegan version! :D

sara said...

dang, those look incredible. i didn't get around to trying sarah's recipe last month either. clearly i missed out on an awesome dessert!

Tender Branson said...

Thanks for the video. Thanks anony...as I hope to try out the other flavors as well.

Leslie R. said...

Yum yum yum!!

nothanksimavegan.com said...

These look great, I love nutty traybake things. Thank you for bringing them to my attention!

Scissors and Spice said...

Seriously. I am TRYING with all my might to be on a diet and this picture is all kinds of no fair. I am def bookmaking this to make for a party. Maybe I will throw one just to have an excuse to make them. ;)

AikoVenus said...

So, this means that you're going to make 10 batches and send them all to me, right? They look so mouth watering!

Lauren said...

omg, this dessert sounds SOO decadent. i need to make it asap. :)
reminds me kind of like a magic cookie bar, but better!

appetiteaffliction.com said...

NANAIMO BARS!!!!! <3 <3 <3

I tried one of these in Vancouver for the very first time a couple of months ago and seriously thought it was the BEES KNEES. I had no idea they were a Canadian thing though - the restaurant I was at served lots of ethnic food and I totally assumed they were Indian/Sri Lankan/Tibetan???? Haha. Oh man. These little squares make me so happy.

vegan.in.brighton said...

I really need to try a Nanaimo bar, looks yummy!

SarahByng said...

I visited my friend who's left me in England and moved to Comox Valley, on our way back over to mainland we got the Ferry from Nanaimo, but there were no vegan bars so I couldn't try them, I would love to try them one day.

vegancouchpotato said...

OMG! graham cracker walnut chocolate........I .....just....fainted :) those look amazing

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I have always wanted to try Nanaimo bars. They're made up of all my favorite things, lol!