Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars. One of Canada’s favourite tipples meets one of the country’s iconic cookie bar treats. An absolute must-have for the Holiday freezer!
Like many Canadians, I have a bit of an obsession with our nation’s favourite cookie bar treat and these Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars are the latest way to feed it. With Bailey’s Irish Cream flavouring both the filling and the chocolate ganache topping, the familiar taste of one of our favourite liqueurs shines right through.
Again with this recipe, I have included my new and improved base for these cookie bars. With what is essentially a thick buttercream frosting centre, I found myself wanting more of the chocolatey, nutty flavoured bottom layer to balance out the sweetness better.
I first used this new and improved base in my updated version of Classic Nanaimo Bars and it got a very positive response. I will however, include the original measurements for the base in the recipe notes here, just in case you prefer the thinner cookie bar.
Either way you prefer them these are completely delicious and since they freeze so well they make an ideal addition to your Holiday cookie collection. Just try not to nick the occasional one from the freezer when nobody’s looking like me. I tend to do that too often in the pre-season run up.
One of the other things worth noting in making Nanaimo Bars of any flavour is the choice of nuts in the bottom. I get asked questions all the time about substituting them. My answer is generally, “Use what you like.”
Since these are all no-bake cookie recipes, I think it is important to toast any nuts before chopping or grinding them finely to use in the recipe. The flavour will be so much better.
Generally, most nuts like pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds will take from 7-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toss once during the cooking time.
Let you nose guide you, the nuts will begin to smell quite toasty and delicious when they are done. They should also be hot enough that you would not pick them up with your fingers. If it’s not completely heated through, it isn’t properly toasted.
These Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars are sure to be the hit of the upcoming festive season. Make them for your own cookie trays, give a dozen as a terrific hostess gift,
or make several batches for your annual Christmas cookie exchange. Wherever these show up they are sure to be an instant hit!
If you liked this recipe you many want to check out this great collection of No Bake Cookies that was incredibly popular during our last Holiday season.
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- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 8 tbsp cocoa
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup fine or medium unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup butter
- 4 1/2 cups icing sugar i.e. powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur
In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar and cocoa over low heat.
Add the beaten egg and continue to cook, stirring constantly to fully cook the egg with the mixture resembling a soft scrambled egg texture.
Add the graham crumbs, coconut and walnuts.
Mix together until well combined then, press into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9×9 inch baking pan.
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, icing sugar and Irish cream until very smooth.
This frosting should be very stiff but spreadable. If you think it’s too thick, you may add a few drops of Irish Cream at a time to bring it to the right consistency. If it is too soft, add a little more icing sugar.
Spread evenly over the bottom layer. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before adding the chocolate topping.
Melt the Irish Cream and chocolate chips together over low heat, just until the chocolate is melted, don’t over heat it.
Spread quickly over the chilled frosted layer. Return to the fridge until the chocolate sets.
Cut into squares or bars. These freeze very well.
Here is the ingredient list for the base of the original version of this recipe as noted in the post above. For the Base Layer 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup sugar 5 tbsp cocoa one beaten egg 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 3/4 cup fine or medium unsweetened coconut 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts Notes on Nuts One of the other things worth noting in making Nanaimo Bars of any flavour is the choice of nuts in the bottom. I get asked questions all the time about substituting them. My answer is generally, "Use what you like." Since these are all no-bake cookie recipes, I think it is important to toast any nuts before chopping or grinding them finely to use in the recipe. The flavour will be so much better. Generally, most nuts like pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds will take from 7-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toss once during the cooking time. Let you nose guide you, the nuts will begin to smell quite toasty and delicious when they are done. They should also be hot enough that you would not pick them up with your fingers. If its not completely heated through, it isn't properly toasted.
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