Experimenting with chocolate in a Nanaimo kitchen

Everyone enjoys a good story and a sweet treat.  Here is the famous Nanaimo Bar story:

After World War II, recipes for sweet unbaked desserts such as refrigerator squares became widespread when butter and sugar were once more available.

By 1950, ingredients such as marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, and crumbled cookies became well-used. This era also saw confections made with brands such as Bird’s custard powder, Baker’s chocolate, Fry’s cocoa, and Tropic coconut.

The bottom layer was inspired by two recipes: ‘Chocolate Quickie Square’ submitted on April 18, 1947 by Mrs. Lois Light of Vancouver,  and a 1948 recipe ‘Unbaked Chocolate Cake’ submitted by Jean Haines of Wildwood (north of Powell River). This recipe was reproduced in the 12th Edith Adams Prize cookbook.

NanaimoBars Experimenting with chocolate in a Nanaimo kitchen

As the recipes were shared and tested, a new dessert began to emerge. The women of the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary invented a new frosting, and capped the dessert with chocolate.

The first known recipe for Nanaimo Bars was submitted by Mrs. E. MacDougall for the 1952 Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary cookbook. She called it ‘Chocolate Slice’.

The recipe for Nanaimo Bars appeared later that year in the 14th Edith Adams Cookbook. Read more about the Nanaimo Bar Story and follow the Nanaimo Bar trail.

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