January 27, 2010

DB Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca

Nanaimos, what can I say? Chocolate, frosting, nuts and graham cracker crust...they are certainly aren't bad but I think the Canadian sweet tooth is just a little too over the top for me. These are sw-EEEE-eet! And even with all the chocolate they can't stand against the greater (in my opinion) Canadian treat, butter tarts. However, I loved that this month's challenge pushed me to finally make a batch of homemade graham crackers. They were insanely good and my husband and I fought over the extras.

For the challenge, I decided to go egg-free and dairy-free but not get the gluten-free flours. I made my typical dairy-free subsitutions: Earth Balance margarine for butter, soy milk for cow's milk, and dairy-free chocolate. Then I replaced the vanilla custard powder with cornstarch plus a little turmeric for color and vanilla extract for flavor. For the egg I mixed up a flax seed egg: 1 tablespoon flax seed meal + 2 tablespoons warm water. I was really hoping these would be a hit with my son and so I also swapped out the coconut flakes (something he won't get near) for rice cereal. Alas, he still chose to drive me crazy by eating only the chocolate and frosting! I should have known.

-Visit Lauren at Celiac Teen for the complete recipes.
-The original (w/gluten) recipe for graham crackers can be found at 101 Cookbooks. Try them, they are FANTASTIC. The flavor of the honey comes through so beautifully! Besides my dairy-free adaptations, I also substituted half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour.
-The honey I used was Sleeping Bear Farms star thistle honey.
-Lauren also gave us this recipe and video for Vegan Nanaimo Bars from Everyday Dish TV. I used it for inspiration to make my adaptations.
-Visit the Daring Kitchen! There you can also check out all the other super-sweet, Canadian goodies made this month by browsing the Daring Baker Blogroll.

The irresistible graham crackersA double dose of my 9 Bean Rows farm share, I've been a lazy blogger.
Winter share week #3 (clockwise from top middle)
bok choy, red kale, Swiss chard, bread, red potatoes, more bok choy/pak choi, eggs, collards and croutons
Winter share week #4 (clockwise from top middle)
bok choy, kale, bread, yellow fingerling potatoes, red kale, red potatoes, eggs, collards, and salad mix