Nanaimo Bar Pops

My mom just had a big birthday (45!!).  I usually make ice-cream cake, but thought I'd change it up this year.  I know if said it here a million times, but I really don't care for cake.  Especially birthday cake. I have some theories about which desserts get eaten and I see cake only go when it is served on plates and force-handed to people.  I also really don't care for the cake-pop fad (mostly because of how I dislike cake no matter how it's disguised. And because I hate to be part of fads), but cute, tidy desserts do get eaten.  Also, July 20th is National Lollipop Day, though a minor holiday compared to the birthday of my mother.  

Nanaimo bars are a Canadian treat that my mom misses from her time up north and laments not being able to find in the states. It is a layered bar cookie made up of a chocolate crumb crust, custard buttercream filling and topped with a ganache.  I thought I'd ride the pop train and make them festive for the special occasion.  Of course, my klutziness turned my effort to make an elegant white chocolate drizzle on the pops into a white chocolate embellishment on my entirely black outfit.  Feel free to go wild with decorating, if you are talented that way.

Nanaimo Bar Pops

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped almonds 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder (Bird's is traditional and can be bought on Amazon or in import stores.  Jell-O vanilla pudding powder works fine)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 3-4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or candy melts
    white chocolate, extra coconut, almonds, or sprinkles for decorating
  • lollipop sticks

In a heavy saucepan over very low heat, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Beat in the egg, stirring until thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds.  Press into rounds and place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  Chill while making second layer.

For the middle layer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the rounds. Push lollipop sticks firmly in the center. Chill in the freezer until firm.

Melt the chocolate chips or candy melts either in the microwave at 50% power, stirring at 30 second intervals, or in a double boiler.  Quickly dip/spread the pops in the chocolate, decorate as desired, and return to wax paper to set.  Keep in the fridge if you aren't going to eat them soon.

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