Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Canada Day preparations

Canada day is quickly approaching, and this year I will be prepared. This year, as well as finding fellow Canadians to celebrate with, I will also be preparing comfort food that only mom (not my mom of course, but someone's) can make. I'll of course start with the obligatory Poutine (See the article from my food blog to learn more), then move onto dessert, first Buttercups then maybe some Nanaimo bars. What is this strange food you ask?  Buttertarts are a flaky buttery cup full of sugary goodness, while Nanaimo Bars are a layered no-bake blend of chocolate, fluffy cream filling and a graham cracker crust.


Butter Tarts:

Go to the JoyofBaking.com for the recipe. 
Here's the filling:
1/3 cup (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (215 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (half-and-half) (10% butterfat)
1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (toasted and chopped) (optional)

Doesn't that sound yummy.  When I was little I didn't like the flaky pastry cup, so I would just eat the sweet creamy filling.  I've grown out of that phase, now I just make sure I have a cup of Tim Horton's coffee with me when I have a few.


Here's a recipe for Nanaimo Bars:
Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.
Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

Nanaimo bars, originated when a housewife, Mabel Jenkins, entered the no-bake recipe in the annual Ladysmith and Cowichan Women's Institute Cookbook that was sold in the early 1950s.  The bars even have their own Facebook Fan Page.  Visit the City of Nanaimo's page for more history.

I'd love to know if you tried making these, I'm not sure that I will, but if I do, I'll post pics.

Stay hungry my friend.