Nanaimo Bar Cookies – Dinner With Julie


I’m so getting into the idea of cookie swapping this year, even though it’s going to look completely different than years before- but I love that we’re all so focused on figuring out creative ways to share, and to do the things we love, and to connect with people we love. And of course we’re all baking more than ever.

I’m always up for an excuse to bake (pandemic or not), so this year I’m taking part in Redpath’s Share the Sweetness Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap. Looking through their recipe database, I came across one for Nanaimo Bar Thumbprint Cookies and couldn’t not make them. They have all the right flavours of a Nanaimo bar, only in cookie form-and they may be less intimidating, and perhaps more shareable as a cookie vs a bar. (At least you don’t have to worry about cutting these cleanly.)


These are SO GOOD. They spread a bit more than the average thumbprint cookie, but the baked cookies are so moist and delicious, I wouldn’t change them. If you want them to hold their shape a bit better, I’d dial the butter back to 1/2 cup, and I imagine it won’t change the flavour and texture much. Once baked, the indents in mine were subtle, but that’s totally OK- the frosting is thick enough to pipe or spread overtop, then drizzle with melted chocolate. (Though they dipped theirs, which you could do too.) And here’s a how-to video I shot in my parents’ kitchen! What are you baking for the holidays??

Nanaimo Bar Thumbprint Cookies

Cookie dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup graham crumbs

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Filling:

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups Redpath® Icing Sugar

2 Tbsp Bird’s Custard Powder

1-2 Tbsp cream (whipping or half and half)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Drizzle:

1 cup chocolate chips

1 Tbsp butter

1

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham crumbs, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

2

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. On low speed or using a spatula, stir in the dry ingredients, along with the coconut and walnuts.

3

Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place a couple inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the balls slightly and use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon to create an indentation about half an inch in diameter.

4

Bake for 14 minutes, until just set. Remove and use the back of a small spoon to gently reform the indentations. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

5

To make the filling, beat the butter, icing sugar, custard powder, cream, vanilla and salt until smooth and fluffy, adding a bit more cream or icing sugar as needed to create a spreadable frosting. Place the filling in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip, or in a zip-lock bag; seal and and cut off one corner.

6

Pipe some frosting into each cooled cookie. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Dip the cookies halfway into the chocolate to coat, or drizzle them with a fork. Set back on the cooled baking sheets and let them set. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

Cookie dough:

 1 cup all-purpose flour

 1/2 cup graham crumbs

 1/4 cup cocoa

 1 tsp baking powder

 1/2 tsp salt

 2/3 cup butter, softened

 3/4 cup Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed

 1 large egg

 1 tsp vanilla

 3/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

Filling:

 1/3 cup butter, softened

 1 1/4 cups Redpath® Icing Sugar

 2 Tbsp Bird’s Custard Powder

 1-2 Tbsp cream (whipping or half and half)

 1/2 tsp vanilla

 1/4 tsp salt

Drizzle:

 1 cup chocolate chips

 1 Tbsp butter

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham crumbs, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

2

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. On low speed or using a spatula, stir in the dry ingredients, along with the coconut and walnuts.

3

Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place a couple inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the balls slightly and use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon to create an indentation about half an inch in diameter.

4

Bake for 14 minutes, until just set. Remove and use the back of a small spoon to gently reform the indentations. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

5

To make the filling, beat the butter, icing sugar, custard powder, cream, vanilla and salt until smooth and fluffy, adding a bit more cream or icing sugar as needed to create a spreadable frosting. Place the filling in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip, or in a zip-lock bag; seal and and cut off one corner.

6

Pipe some frosting into each cooled cookie. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Dip the cookies halfway into the chocolate to coat, or drizzle them with a fork. Set back on the cooled baking sheets and let them set. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Nanaimo Bar Thumbprint Cookies



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