Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nanino? Nanaimo?

What's in a name anyway!?!

I asked myself that same question as I hunted down this recipe, a true family favorite... (read: even though my mom usually made well over 15 varieties of cookies and 6-7 desserts each year, my brother and I still favored these bars over all the others). In the end, I was so thankful that my mom had the recipe she's always made because not only are there many many versions out there, there are even two spellings of this delicious treat! My head was spinning by the end of what I thought would be an innocuous little search.

I did, however, come across some fun anecdotes about the actual name of these bars - if you're short on time, the punchline is that no one has conclusively determined when or why these were dubbed Nanino/Nanaimo Squares... but I found the iterations that folks have gone through to not make a decision the most interesting.

It seems most likely that this recipe dates back to the 1950s and has been called all sorts of names throughout the years - my favorites being Miracle Bars and Georgia Street Slices.

Nanino Squares

First layer
1/2 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 c flaked coconut

Combine butter, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla in double boiler. Cook over boiling water until well blended. Add beaten egg and cook 5 minutes. Add crumbs, nuts, and coconut. Press with hand into buttered 8x8 inch pan. Chill at least 25 minutes.

Second layer
1/2 c butter, softened
2 TBSP instant vanilla pudding mix powder
3 TBSP milk
2 c powdered sugar

Cream butter until fluffy. Beat in pudding mix and milk. Add powdered sugar gradually and beat until smooth. Spread over first layer. Chill 15 minutes.

Third layer
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 TBSP butter

Melt over low heat. Spread over second layer. Chill for about 15 minutes and then score the top layer. Cut into squares and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

*Can be made ahead of time and frozen!

And of course it wouldn't be another Christmas without Susan of Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies event. So I'm adding these Nanino... er, Nanaimo Squares to her Christmas cookie platter!

So while it may be too late to make many of them this year, bookmark and check out the round-up for ideas for next year!

1 comment:

  1. And I call them Hello Dollies! Is there a cookie with more names than this one? ;) Thanks for a fun post and a fun cookie, Kara.


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