My grandma was a classic. She was elegant and she was feisty. She sewed us pajamas and she let us walk her cat on a leash like a dog. She put up with our antics and loved us every minute of every day no matter how moody we got.
My grandma spent her last years in one of the most serene places I’ve ever been: Nanaimo. For anyone who has ever been to Nanaimo it is breath taking with quiet streets, mountain views and ocean fronts. This beautiful place is home to another classic: the Nanaimo bars. I find these two classics synonymous with each other. They fill you with happiness and comfort, and mainly a feeling you wish never had to go away.
So this Thanksgiving I put a twist on the original classic to honour my grandma, who is the sunshine smiling down this crisp morning. On Thanksgiving, and every other single day, I’m thankful for my grandma, the classic- but better!
Pumpkin Nanaimo Bars
- ½ cup butter
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ cup sweetened, shredded coconut
- 4 cups icing sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 dark chocolate chips
- 5 tbsp butter
Assembling the Bars
- Line 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter cocoa powder and sugar until smooth and combined. Let cool, slightly.
- Stir in beaten egg. Then mix in coconut and graham crackers. Press into parchment paper lined pan. Chill for 1 hour.
- In a mixer, combine butter, icing sugar, spices and custard powder. Stir in pumpkin until combined. Chill for 30 minutes.
- In a microwave safe bowl melt chocolate and butter. Spread over pumpkin layer. Chill for 1-2 hours.