Nanaimo Bars is one of those recipes that had been on LLP’s to-do list for…probably 2 years. Ever since it started popping up across the blogospere. I guess we needed a little extra nudge to move it from ‘to-do’ status to ‘done!’. That nudge was definitely Michelle’s Peanut Butter version of Nanaimo Bars. We were convinced in under 5 seconds!
I’m not going to bore you with the history, but long story short Nanaimo Bars come from Canada. Nanaimo, British Columbia to be exact. I THEEENK the actual pronunciation is nah-NIGH-moe but don’t quote me on that. The original Nanaimo Bars were not peanut butter filled, but for Kara and me it was the peanut butter filling that made these bars look AND taste irresistible.
I have a lot of favorite dessert recipes because…let’s face it…I have a sweet tooth. I’d choose dessert instead of dinner everyday of the week if I could. But I can’t. So I won’t. I’ll compromise by making a dessert for every birthday celebration, BBQ and get-together of any kind. And these Nanaimo Bars will be in my regular rotation because they’re just that good. If you’re a Reese’s PB Cup lover than you will absolutely love these.
Note: Next time I make these bars I am going to try without the coconut. I couldn’t taste the coconut anyway and I think they will be just as delicious without it. If anybody else has made this recipe and thinks the coconut is an ingredient I shouldn’t skip then let me know!!
Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars
For the Crust
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
For the Filling
- 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
For the Top Layer
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.
- Start with the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar and eggs. Next, stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and cocoa powder until ingredients are completely combined. Transfer to prepared baking dish and press evenly into the bottom of your dish, it will be a little sticky. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place baking dish on a cooling rack. Allow crust to cool completely before preparing the filling.
- To make the filling, microwave the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl until melted and smooth. Microwave in 30 second intervals. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Whisk until smooth. Spread evenly over the cooled crust then refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Make the chocolate layer last. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in 30 second intervals on 50% power. Be careful to not overcook!! Spread the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and place in the refrigerator to set.
- Once set, use a knife to cut into squares. Store any leftover bars covered in the refrigerator.