Tag Archives: canadian desserts

Our New Favourite Dessert of the Summer: Nanaimo Bar Popsicles

The Nanaimo bar is one of those great Canadian desserts with a name that does not at all describe the deliciousness of what is actually in the bar itself (a sweet coconut and graham cracker base, topped with custard-flavoured buttercream and finished with a thin layer of chocolate ganache).

Well, skip the grocery store. We’re giving the humble Nanaimo bar a refreshing summer makeover just in time for Canada Day. This fudgy, creamy and decadent popsicle recipe consists of three main components that pay homage to the iconic dessert: a chocolate custard base studded with crushed graham cracker pieces and toasted coconut flakes, a vanilla custard centre and a dark chocolate drizzle.

Nanaimo Bar Popsicles

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours (includes freezing)
Servings: 6-8 bars (depending on size of popsicle mold)

Ingredients: 

Vanilla Custard Layer
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Layer
1/3 cup (50 g) dark chocolate, chopped
Crushed graham crackers
Toasted coconut flakes

Chocolate Drizzle
1/3 cup (50g) dark chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions: 

1. Combine milk, cream and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until it reaches a gentle simmer. Remove saucepan from heat.
2. Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch and vanilla in a heatproof bowl until well combined.
3. Slowly stream in the hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly.
4. Return mixture to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 6-8 minutes or until custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon.
5. Once custard has thickened, transfer the custard into two separate bowls to cool, with 1/3 of the custard in one bowl and 2/3 of the custard in the other (we will be reserving the smaller portion for the chocolate layer).

6. While custard is cooling, place chopped dark chocolate for the chocolate layer over a double boiler. Once chocolate has melted, using a rubber spatula, fold the melted dark chocolate into the reserved smaller portion of the custard.
7. Allow custard to cool before transferring to popsicle molds. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on the custard to prevent a ‘skin’ from forming on top of the custard.

8. Once custard has cooled, transfer custard into popsicle molds. The vanilla custard layer goes in the mold first, taking up the majority of the mold. A thinner layer of chocolate custard goes on top of the vanilla layer.
9. Insert the popsicle sticks, cover and freeze overnight.

10. When popsicles are ready to be served, melt the remainder of the dark chocolate and add coconut oil to create the chocolate drizzle.
11. Drizzle unmolded popsicles with chocolate and sprinkle with crushed graham cracker and toasted coconut flakes. Serve immediately.

Can’t get enough of this Canadian sweet treat? We have 10 more tasty Nanaimo bar recipes that are calling your name, plus 50 red and white desserts to celebrate Canada Day.

Pecan Whisky Butter Tarts are a Classic Canadian Treat, All Grown Up

Canada’s quintessential dessert, the butter tart, gets a grown-up twist with warming whisky, rich pecans and pure maple syrup. Canadian rye whisky adds a touch of warmth and natural spice notes, complementing the super-sweet buttery interior. It’s all balanced by the addition of pecans to add the perfect contrasting crunch. For the pastry, a mixture of butter and shortening helps to create those pretty frilled edges homemade butter tarts are known for – they also help to capture every bit of that sticky, just runny enough, spiked filling.

Canadian Pecan Whisky Butter Tarts

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Bake Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 3 minutes
Makes: 12

Ingredients:

Pastry Dough
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping and rolling
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for tin
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup cold water
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Filling
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Canadian rye whisky
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped 

Directions:

Pastry Dough
1. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add shortening and butter, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together water, egg yolk and lemon juice until combined. With the processor running, gradually add egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture, until dough just begins to come together.

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and shape into two discs. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disc into a circle measuring 1/8-inch or so in thickness. Carefully transfer, with parchment paper intact (to keep it from sticking), to a baking sheet. Repeat this with the second dough disc (use two baking sheets or layer on top of each other using parchment to separate). Cover each rolled disc loosely with additional parchment paper to avoid drying out, and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until chilled and firm.

3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking oil or lightly grease with oil or extra shortening.

4. Using a round 4- to 5-inch round cookie cutter or wine glass, cut dough into 12 circles, re-rolling dough once if necessary. Gently press rounds into prepared pan allowing edges to fold up around each other and extend above the rim of pan. Freeze for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Filling
1. In a medium bowl, preferably one with a pour spout, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, melted butter, eggs, whisky, vinegar and salt until smooth and sugar begins to dissolve.

2. Remove pastry shells from freezer. Divide pecans evenly in the bottom of each frozen pastry shell. Pour or ladle filling on top of pecans, filling 1/2-inch below the top of the pastry.

3. Bake in the bottom third of oven for 10 minutes at 450ºF. Reduce heat to 400°F and continue to bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until filling is set and puffed, covering with foil or parchment to prevent excess browning if necessary.

4. Transfer pan to wire cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of tarts and let cool completely in pan. Pop them out when you’re ready to enjoy them. Serve and store butter tarts at room temperature.

From cheesecake to ice cream, these fresh takes on Canadian butter tarts will satisfy every sweet tooth.