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Cherry Almond Nanaimo Bars

No recipe image available.Nanaimo bars are a favorite cookie bar in British Columbia, Canada. This cherry almond version is a perfect example of why it is so popular.

Recipe Ingredients:

Base:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted

Filling:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Glaze:
1 cup (6-ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Base: In saucepan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and egg until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press firmly and evenly into greased 9-inch square pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  2. For Filling: In bowl, using electric mixer, beat together powdered sugar, butter, cherry juice and almond extract until smooth. Stir in cherries. Spread over base layer. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. For Glaze: In top of double boiler over hot not boiling water, melt chocolate with shortening, stirring until smooth. (Or melt chocolate with shortening in microwave at 50% power for 3 minutes, stirring once.) Spread over filling layer. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Bars keep for 2 weeks, covered, in refrigerator.

Makes 16 bars.