Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The First Daring Bakers' Challenge of 2010 is....

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.
Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Colombia. In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Nah-nye-Moh. These bars have 3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts, a middle custard layer, and a topping of chocolate. They are extremely rich and available almost everywhere across the country. I used to buy them at the grocery store before going gluten-free. (Lauren)

I think I need to iron my kitchen towel next time!


I opted not to make my graham crackers gluten-free out of convenience and thrift. I had all the ingredients in my pantry for the regular graham crackers:) I was so happy and excited to finally make homemade graham crackers! I have wanted to, but never have. Graham crackers are such a classic childhood snack. In kindergarten our class snack was graham crackers and milk:) Then in Brownies/Girl Scouts and family camping, s'mores were always a favored treat! They are such a memory-invoking treat for me!
I still love them and always have a box or two in the pantry.
The day I baked them, my husband walked in the door and said "What is that, that I smell? It's the best thing ever!" I have to admit that the aroma was buttery and honey infused, but my husband is pretty easy to please in the food category, so it's hard to know if it was really that good! I finally used my little "crinkle wheel" (I don't know what it's called) to make little scalloped edges on the crackers. My grahams aren't as crunchy as a cracker, and they're thicker, but I kind of like them this way:) Homemade is so superior! I don't know why I'm so enthralled with something so simple, but I really love them! I have some left in the freezer, and some batter in the fridge. I will feature them in some way(not crushed)..perhaps s'mores?
I decided to make the middle filling pink, just because I like pink and I have Valentine's day on the brain. These bars are very decadent, so it might be better to make them into Nanaimo bites, instead of bars:) I had a bit of a hard time cutting these without cracking the top layer, but MANY of you had perfectly neat and tidy bars with no blemishes! :)


Thanks Lauren for a fun challenge to start off the year! My favorite part was the graham crackers:)

Click HERE for the recipe.

24 comments:

  1. Nice! I love the pink filling! I decided to take the plunge and join DB - so next month I may be joining you :)

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  2. le rose va très bien avec le chocolat, tes carrés sont superbes et irrésistibles, bravo
    bonne soirée

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  3. So pretty in pink! Love that you piped the name in on the bars!

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  4. so cute and lovely, a nice treat for valentine for sure

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  5. Oh wow.. those look delicious!!!!!!!!!

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  6. I LOVE the pink!! It's so adorable how you wrote the name on the bars in pink!! I think it's clear that I like pink too.

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  7. I love your pink bars. They look so gentle. Great job!

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  8. Sue, I love the pink. It brings out the festive mood of this special bar. Beautiful..

    To get a clean cut, dip knife in boiling water, wipe dry, lay the knife edge on the top chocolate layer gently and leave there until the chocolate melts underneath the warm knife, and finally cut.

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

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  9. Nice! I was once a member of the daring bakers, but it didn't stick. oh well, I would have loved to make these~they look great!

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  10. Sue, you did an absolutely amazing job on my challenge! I'm thrilled that you loved the grahams and your Nanaimo bars are adorable - I love that you wrote their name on them - very creative!

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  11. your nanimo bars turned out sooo cute! i love the pink and the piping!

    p.s. you have some beautiful munchkins over there :-)

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  12. Ahh your bars are so sute! Great job on the challenge.

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  13. Wonderful job!!love the pinky colour cream. no worry bout your kitchen towel, the nanimo bars still telling me how delicious they are!! =)

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  14. Sue, you are so creative! I love the first picture and the pink filling is so festive! :)

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  15. The pink filling is sooo cute! Those look really good and something I've never made before. This is going on my to-bake list!

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  16. Love the pink icing and pink middle - great idea.

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  17. Sue..I love the opening photo, so fun, clever and pretty! Your bars look beautiful! I was initially going to make a raspbery filling, and your pink filling reminded me of that. Nicely done as always!

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  18. These look so good! I have got to remember to make these for Valentines!

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  19. All of a sudden these are taking over...the are everywhere. Yours Look GREAT!

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  20. Ah, so cute! Great presentation. And my, you have such lovely handwriting!

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  21. Sue, I feel exactly the same about graham crackers! They evoke such warm, fuzzy feelings. Loved the homemade version, and I will agree with your husband - the aroma as they baked was divine.

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  22. The Crinkle wheel is one of the best inventions ever! ;) I loved the smell of the graham crackers while they were baking too - intoxicating!

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