La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

I have been making Nanaimo Bars since I first visited Vancouver in the 1970s. The original recipe was from one of my most used cook books ever. 'Mama never cooked like this' by Susan Mendelson. This book also has the best baked cheesecake recipe ever. The pages are stuck together with all sorts of delicious ingredients from over the years. Hopefully it could still be in print so I can invest in another copy one day.


This recipe has been adapted to incorporate the boys favourite combos of chocolate & peanut butter. It also proved to be a big hit on my Facebook page coming in at number 3 in my popular baking posts. The recipe is such a easy no-bake and will make lots & lots of bars which will freeze well if they're not all scoffed as soon as they're made. Hope you're going to enjoy them.

The main difference between the original and this recipe is the 2nd layer which has been changed to a peanut butter filling.

The Base:- to fit in a 9" /23cm square tin, greased & lined with parchment
125 gms/ around 1/2 cup butter
55 gms/1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp cocoa powder
400gms Digestive biscuits crushed / 2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
100 gms desiccated coconut / 1cup sweetened coconut flakes
100 gms chopped nuts / 1/2 cup. I used walnuts but almonds, pecans or any other chopped nuts should do nicely.
Melt the butter, sugar, vanilla gently in a bowl placed over a pan of gently simmering water.
As soon as it's melted but NOT HOT beat in the egg, add the cocoa, biscuit,, coconut & chopped nuts
Press firmly into the baking tray. Put into the fridge until really firm

The Middle layer:-
75gms butter/ 1/3 cup butter
115gms/ 1/2 cup Smooth peanut butter ****(if you don't like peanut butter see below)
100 gms icing sugar / 2 cups Confectioners sugar
Beat together until light & smooth
Spread evenly over the base
Place in the freezer for 25 minutes to set

Chocolate top:-
100gms / 4oz 70% dark chocolate
75 gms/ 1tbsp butter
Melt very gently together in a bowl over a pan of hot water stirring all the time.
Pour over the peanut butter layer & roll carefully into the corners completely coating everything.
Chill until cool. Cut into slices, squares or however you want.

***** alternative 2nd layer the original ingredients are 55gms Butter, 3tbsp milk, 400gms icing sugar, 2 tbsp custard powder, beaten together.


  1. Hi Dor, I made Nanaimo Bars a few months ago for some friends and they were such a huge hit, everyone asked for the recipe ( and I enjoyed making them too. I like your variation of the traditional recipe using peanut butter. Can't wait to make these again for my friend who just so happens to LOVE peanut butter :) Thank you xoxo

    1. Francesca is that you my little Doodle. Your Nanaimo bars look spectacular my sweetie, such a great pic. Thanks so much for your comment hun, it's very much appreciated. xxx Dor

  2. Hoping to make these today for my friend and her mum as a welcome home treat :) xxx


I love sharing my recipes with you all...please feel free to comment's great to get some feedback ♥