peppermint nanaimo bars

To kick off the start of holiday baking this year, I decided to make a batch of these minty treats last week. I love the original bar of course but I find they can be a little too sweet. The peppermint extract in this recipe cuts down the sweetness and is a little more refreshing. If you want to get festive, you could certainly dye the middle layer green or red. Having lost my 8x8 pan to a bbq back in June, I had to multiply the recipe by 1.5 to fit a 9x13 pan - more nanaimo bars for me!

Peppermint Nanaimo Bars by Canadian Living

1 cup (250 mL) graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) flaked coconut
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup (50 mL) each cocoa powder and granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, softened
1 tsp (5 mL) peppermint extract
2 cups (500 mL) icing sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) milk

4 oz (125 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

Base: In bowl, stir cracker crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cocoa and sugar. Drizzle with butter and egg, stirring to blend. Press into parchment paper-lined (*I just greased mine) 9-inch (2.5 L) square metal cake pan. Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 10 minutes; let cool.

Filling: In bowl, beat butter with peppermint extract. Beat in icing sugar alternately with milk until smooth, adding up to 1 tsp (5 mL) more milk if needed. Spread over base; refrigerate until cold and firm, about 45 minutes.

Topping: In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter; spread over filling. Refrigerate until almost set, 30 minutes. Score into bars; refrigerate until set, 1 hour. Cut into bars.

Makes 30 bars

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