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.
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.
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!
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.
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.