Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Peanut Butter 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

I had a life-altering experience a few months ago when I made Nanaimo Bars for the first time. Not only has it been infinitely the most popular post of all time on Playing House, it's far and away one of my (and my friends') favorite sweets I've made.

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

So you can imagine my thrill when I saw that one of the sweetest bloggers I know, Lauren of Celiac Teen, chose Nanaimo Bars from her native Canada as this month's Daring Bakers challenge. The twist, since Nanaimo Bars are a no-bake treat: Lauren challenged us to make the graham cracker crumbs using grahams made from scratch, and she encouraged us to try the gluten-free route!

Gluten Free Grahams

I have to admit something that I'm not really proud of. I've had a long-standing bias against the deliciousness of alternative ways of cooking-- gluten-free, veganism, etc... I happily support others who cook and eat alternatively, I just for some reason couldn't wrap my head around how something could possibly be as good if it wasn't made using the tried-and-true, time-tested staple ingredients.

Well, Lauren, my friend, you've certainly put me in my place. Since I respect Lauren so much, I wanted to give the gluten-free version a try, and I'm so, so glad I did. I feel humbled to admit that I liked the gluten-free grahams far better than the traditional kind made with wheat flour.

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars-Whole

I adapted the original Nanaimo Bar recipe into bars of peanut butter awesomeness by making the following changes:

*Bottom layer: used peanuts instead of almonds, substituted 1/2 cup of Heath toffee bits for 1/2 cup of the coconut
*Middle layer: beat a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter into the custard
*Top layer: swirled melted peanut butter chips in with the chocolate

Thanks Lauren, for one of my favorite DB challenges to date. You've been a fabulous hostess!

For the recipe (and a good time in general), head over to Lauren's blog, Celiac Teen.


Pontch said...

your bars looks delicious
l love peanut butter with chocolate :)

Lauren said...

Well thats exactly what we're always trying to prove - gluten-free doesn't have to mean taste-free. I am so glad you gave it a go and even more happy that you liked them better than wheat =D.

Your bars are flat-out gorgeous. I'm thrilled you loved my challenge!

Maria said...

The bars turned out great! Nice work!

Delicious Dishings said...

I was obsessed with these the first time you posted about them, so I was super-excited when I found out they were the challenge too. I love your pb adaptation! Those bars are beautiful!

Mary said...

The peanut butter swirls look absolutely delicious! Now I'm going to have to make these gluten-free too, as I seem to have a bit of the same bias...

Anonymous said...

Mmm... peanut butter version. These must taste great cause they look amazing!

grace said...

your simple swirl makes these the finest nanaimo bars i've seen today, and buddy, i've seen a lot. :)

Rachel said...

Hard-to-resist flavours.

nikki said...

Gorgeous bars and those chocolate peanut butter swirls are sending me right to the kitchen to try a new nanaimo twist!

TeaLady said...

That's beautiful with the swirl on top. NIce idea to use PB.

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

I was totally drooling when I saw your pictures on the forum--I must try the peanut butter and chocolate combination--your bars look FABULOUS!! :)

Unknown said...

OMG, these look positively scrumptious. And swirling the peanut butter on top is genius. Tasty and beautiful.

(wife.) said...

HOW did I never see this?!?!? xoxox

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