Monday, 30 September 2013

Nanaimo Bars, and Some Canada Love


I  came across this bit of Canadian humour, and it made me think of all the things I love about this country, which invariably led me to thinking about food.  Canadian food, like Poutine and all things maple syrup.  And Nanaimo Bars.


So.  It would seem that I live in the centre of the whole freaking universe.  Be that as it may, I have an abiding love for all things west coast, having spent 5 years living in Victoria, BC.   Last year I shared a recipe for my favourite cheesecake, from my favourite Victoria restaurant.  It is truly the best cheesecake I've ever eaten.  Just like these Nanaimo Bars are among the best bars I've ever had.  They've always been one of my favourite sweet treats, and coincidentally also come from Vancouver Island.  Nanaimo, obviously.


If you've never had a Nanaimo Bar, you don't know what you're missing.  A cocoa-coconut-crumb crust, a creamy custard centre, finished with a smooth semi-sweet chocolate layer.


These are no-bake bars, but they require some refrigeration time.  The exact origin of Nanaimo Bars isn't known, although the earliest print copies of the recipe date back to the 1950's in various Nanaimo area publications.


Give these a try, I think you'll love them.  And if you ever find yourself in Nanaimo, you can tour the Nanaimo Bar Trail.

Nanaimo Tourism

Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer

½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely shredded coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Slowly add egg and whisk constantly to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in graham crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer

½ cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cream or milk
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder (or vanilla pudding powder)
2 cups icing sugar

Cream together butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread over bottom layer and refrigerate until firm.
Third Layer

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 ounce each)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat in a double boiler. Cool slightly but allow to remain liquid. Pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator until set.  Cut into squares.


Amazing bars, and an amazing city in a beautiful part of the country!
Source: Tourism Nanaimo

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114 comments:

  1. Hello Jenn, it's a pleasure to meet you. I found your blog thru Tumble Weed Contessa. I am your newest follower. I love Nanaimo bars. I have been making these babies for years.
    I hope to make them real soon, because they are so darn good. Enjoy your week.

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit Linda, nice to meet you too!

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  2. Yummy!! These soooo remind me of Canada! And your recipe is easier than mine. YAY!!!
    :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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    1. Easier is a good thing! So glad you stopped by for a visit!

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  3. It's a patriotic duty to make and eat Nanaimo bars. I live where there's oil, cowboys, Bibles and rich people apparently.

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  4. I love love love Nanaimo Bars!! - I first had them at camp (Ontario Pioneer Camp) & I also love the Canadian Infomap - so cool!! Thanks for networking with us on the CLIMB (blog hop)!
    Angie
    godsgrowinggarden.com

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    1. Thanks Angie, nothing like perpetuating Canadian stereotypes for a laugh! So glad you stopped by :)

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  5. I want to go to that part of Canada that is moose (or meeses), mukluks and Santa's house! Like now!
    I have seen Nanaimo Bars on Pinterest and other delights, and I nearly can't stand to look at them, without the knowledge they'd be in my hands shortly. I want them so badly!!

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    1. They are dangerously good, you're a smart girl to avoid looking at them :)

      Goose, geese... moose, meese? I don't get it.

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  6. Hello, I am stopping by from In and out of the kitchen link party. This looks really good! Like that its no bake

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ciara, I love that they're no-bake as well :)

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  7. OMG, those look SO good!

    Thanks for linking up with MBH this week. We hope your join the Halloween Ca$h Giveaway with Dawn's Disaster and Nugget on a Budget! #BloggerOpp

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  8. This is what I love about blogging - finding out things from other parts of the world you would never otherwise know about. Great map by the way - a real insight into the Canadian mind!

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  9. After viewing your map, I can see why my Ontario born father moved to Calif.

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  10. Thanks for sharing at Tasty Tuesday! I have always wanted to try Nanaimo Bars~ Think I'll give this recipe a try:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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  11. Jenn, I love Nanaimo Bars and my sister's brought me some Bird's Eye Custard Powder when they came to visit this summer so I can make them the right way :)... I did see a recipe sometime back with a layer of toasted coconut between the custard layer and chocolate layer that I thought was awesome.. I need to try that... Found this over at Creative Muster.

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  12. These look amazing! Yum! I love the map by the way:)

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  13. Yum! These look delish! Definitely will be pinning to try soon! :) Thanks for linking with us for WDW!

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  14. Hi, Jenn. Thank you for linking with See Ya in the Gumbo. I've only heard of Nanaimo Bars..never had them. That thick chocolate topping tells me I should try them!

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  15. Oh my goodness, they looks so delicious. I've gained weight just looking at them!

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  16. I've heard about Nanaimo Bars before but I've never made them. Yours look absolutely gorgeous! I'd be thrilled if you'd come on over to Pink Recipe Box and link up at Creative Wednesdays: http://pinkrecipebox.com/creative-wednesdays-with-pink-recipe-box-12

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  17. Canada is one of those places that I've never been, but have been there several times in spirit because friends who have gone have come back with stories that I just love to hear -- plus, they always bring me chocolate! I have a true addiction to cheesecake too, so this combination is truly mouth-watering for me!

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn it Up Tuesdays! We love having you!! :)

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  18. I have never heard of these. They look delicious. Thanks for sharing at The Gathering Spot this week.

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  19. i've not heard of these jenn but that looks so delish! hmm...hmm...
    stopping by through sweet wednesday!♥

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  20. Hey Jenn! So great to find another fellow Canadian in blog-land! I found you through Show Some Love Hump Day blog hop and will be following you on Bloglovin! I too LOVE Nanaimo bars - one of my absolute favorites! And that map is awesome...I was born and raised in The Flat Part in the Middle but now live in the land of oil, cowboys, bibles and rich people! :) Thanks for sharing!
    Nancy (http://mylittlecriatura.blogspot.ca/)

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  21. Hello Jenn! I'm stopping by from Doing You Well Wednesday. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I love all things Canada (lived in Ontario for 8 years and still miss it like crazy) and Nanaimo Bars are one of my favourite things to eat! Yummy!
    Blessings!
    Scarlett
    http://thescarlettthread.blogspot.com

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  22. Yum, these look delicious! And we're going to Bruce Peninsula this weekend to see the fall colors :) I'll have to see if I can nose out some nanaimo bars while we're in Canada.

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  23. Funny, I live in Canada and never eaten a Nanaimo bar. This needs to be fixed soon.

    We would love to have you come over to our monthly link happening now: http://bit.ly/1bV7s7o #whyfakeitjustmakeit
    Nadia

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  24. Oh my gosh my husband is Canadian so I think I need to surprise him and serve him one!
    #wineddown

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  25. These look amazing! I have never heard of these but I am going to have to have one as soon as possible! I bet they won't last 2 days in my house!

    Thanks for sharing at Wine'd Down Wednesdays! Hope to see you again next week!

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  26. OMG.....I must needs make those bars! They look delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe. I love the Canada map. :D Thanks so, so uch for linking-up to My Happy List!!!

    xo,
    RJ

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  27. These look way toooooo good. I've got to try these. Thanks for sharing with us at our Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.
    Sew Crafty Angel

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  28. They looks divine! Yummy :) Thanks for sharing at Share Your Stuff Tuesdays!

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  29. those look delicious! i will have to try the recipe.

    new follower from Friday follow party via GFC & bloglovin!
    http://juliaspuellaaeterna.blogspot.com/

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  30. Mmm, Nanaimo Bars, I love these because of how versatile they are, you can change up the recipe so easily with a bottle of Carolan's or some crushed candy canes. And these are truly a Canadian delicacy, really, not many people outside of Canada have ever had the pleasure (or know that they exist at all). Must go bake now, thanks for the cravings :P

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  31. thanks for linking up to the all things pretty party. these look so yummy.

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  32. MMMMMMmm I love Nanimo bars! I feel like the *new* words for saskatchewan should look like this:

    Uranium
    Uranium
    Uranium
    Uranium
    Potash
    Saskatoon
    Potash
    Potash
    Regina
    Coal


    lol

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  33. Oh my my my my....these look SOOOO good. Just shared them on FB, G+, Twitter, Pinterest...thanks for sharing them on Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

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  34. I love these! Thanks for stopping by the Wonderful Wednesday hop. Following you everywhere!

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  35. Jenn, these bars are phenomenal - each and every layer of them! Thank you for sharing on the Four Seasons Blog Hop. Have a great weekend!!
    Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

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  36. These look divine! Thanks for sharing at Food on Friday!

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  37. These look divine! Thanks for sharing at Food on Friday!

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  38. I am from the center of the universe too. Rather live in NFLD though :)
    Nanaimo bars are so good.

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  39. The carrot in the bottom crust was a surprise. Your bars look delicious. Thanks for linking up to Real Food Fridays :)

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  40. Well, I have to say that I am glad that one of your random scraps was the recipe for these bars! YUM! So glad you joined us on Foodie Friday Link Party. As a co-host, I want you to know that I pin, like, Google+ and twitter your link. Thanks for participating. I would love you to drop by my site at http://www.kneadedcreations. I look forward to reading your comments. Deb @ Kneaded Creations

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  41. Wow! These look and sound amazing! I love chocolate and I love coconut even more!

    Thanks so much for joining our blog hop Jenn!

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  42. Hi, those bars look delicious. I lived in Vancouver for over a year and never tried one!! and only heard about Poutine a few months ago from a scotish lass here in France!! But I do love all things maple syrup.

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  43. Oh these look really delicious I could eat one right now! x

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  44. From one Canadian to another..."These are good hey?" Cheers!!

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  45. Hi Jenn, I saw your post on Google+ and had to come visit. I'm from Victoria too, (North Saanich , actually) and am living in Ontario for the moment. (counting the days till I return, lol)
    Loved your tribute to Canada and the Island. Beautiful blog you have here! So glad I found you.

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  46. Love the Canada info graphic. Made me laugh out loud! As a Canadian gal who resides in Alberta with family in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia I thought it was especially funny. Great yummies here too. Visiting via Mamma Walker's blog hop from over at www.ritewhileucan.com

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  47. I saw this on Google+ too. I love nanaimo bars. I live in Smog apparently. lol

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  48. LOL! First these bars sound just magnanimous. I'll have to try them. 2nd that is the funniest map. Great education. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend.

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  49. These look amazing. They really are the most delicious treat ever, in my opinion. Love the map of Canada. Too funny.

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  50. Hi Jenn,
    We will just love your Nanaimo Bars, they look awesome! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

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  51. Oh YUM! These look so delicious! Thanks for linking up with Life Created link party; hope you'll join us again this week! Party goes live tomorrow night :)

    Erin
    www.theviewfromfiveten.com

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  52. Love your Canada map. I guess I am from the place of hippies- Vancouver Island. About an hour from Nanaimo... actually sandwiched right between Nanaimo and the place where REAL hippies still flourish and I used to live (Tofino). Lived in Victoria for a few years myself... anyhow - nice to find your funny interesting blog- found you through your link on a party I cohost, Work it Wednesday! Hope to have you back...oh, and pinning this Nanaimo Bar recipe too!
    ~Krista

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  53. Oh yum! My oven is on the blink at the moment and we are heading into summer I think this is a must make! Thanks so much for linking, by the way I live in Victoria Australia, us colonies loved naming things after the royals :)

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  54. I love meeting Canadian bloggers, guess I'm from the center of the universe too :) I'm visiting from Creative Friday. Nanaimo bars are one of our favourites and visiting Vancouver Island is one of our favourite things to do (daughter lives there)

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  55. These look luscious!! Pinned! Thank you! Visiting from You're Gonna Love It.

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  56. Wow - I have never had Nanaimo bars. How is it pronounced? They look so absolutely delicious!! I must try them. Pinning this! Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!

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  57. This post made me laugh! As a Canadian who has lived in the US for the past 15 years, I've been the brunt of a few jokes (you have family in Saska-whAt??). AND I've made Nanaimo Bars and people have never heard of them! They are SO good. Nice to see them again:)
    Cindy @ Diy beautify

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  58. I'm excited to try these! They look awesome. Thank you for sharing this with the Less Laundry, More Linking party. Pinning this to our party board now. #ns

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  59. Anyone who makes custard sandwich in between 2 layers of chocolate is a friend of mine! Wow...they look creamy with a bit of crunch in the crust.The fact that they are no bake is a big plus! Thank You for sharing them at the Fluster Buster Party! Have a great week Jenn, Lizy party co host.

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  60. Yum! Thanks for linking up at the Wondering Brain Weekend Show Off Party! I am co-hosting this week. I hope you will hop over to my place http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/ for a visit and if you like what you see, follow me. Enter to win KitchenAid Holiday Baking Bundle Giveaway! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/2013/10/kitchenaid-holiday-baking-bundle.html Hope you are having a terrific week! Cathy

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  61. The Canadian cartoon thing is really funny. This recipes looks divine and I think I can find gluten free graham crackers and make this. I never get to eat dessert any more, since going gluten free. I'm too lazy to gluten free bake. :) Thanks for sharing this. I'll give it a try for Sunday lunch.

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  62. PS: Love your blog. I found you via Fluster Buster link party. Followed you on Twitter. I was looking for a way to Tweet this recipes. Cheers.

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  63. Love these! My grandmother was Canadian and made them for Christmas every year (but she used walnuts instead of almonds in the base). Now I make them every Christmas - it's a fun family tradition. I can only make them once a year though or I'll eat them all!!! We call them "Naomi bars" because when the grandkids were little, that's how we said it! :)

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  64. Hi, these look so yummy! I saw it at thriving on thursdays party.
    Julie at julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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  65. I think this post has so many comments for a reason, these bars look absolutely fantastic! I have never made these before but this post makes me want to try it.

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  66. These look amazing... Must try :) Love the story around them too.
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) #PoCoLo

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  67. These look absolutely and utterly GORGEOUS - I am saving the recipe and using it! I love the story that is around them as well. Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo x

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  68. LOVE the map and your creations look no only absolutely beautiful, but delicious! I am definitely going to try these with my kids. Thanks SO much for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you will be able to join us this week. :-) http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2013/10/try-new-recipe-tuesday-october-15.html

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  69. I've always wanted to try these Jenn. They look delicious. Thanks so much for linking up to Thriving on Thursdays. I'm featuring this at tomorrow's party.

    Anne xx

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    1. Thank you Anne! Looking forward to tomorrow's party, thanks again for hosting!

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  70. Guess what's for dessert tomorrow?

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  71. I loved the land of funny-talking people best, when we went across Canada on the train. The bars look yummy, too :)

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  72. Hi. I found you through Share your stuff Tuesdays which was a first for me as a pretty new blogger. Never heard of Nanaimo Bars before but they look incredible. As my home decor blog also features chocolate here and there, I'll share sometime. For now, I'll Pin this delicious recipe. Thanks. Glad to have found you.

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  73. I love Nanaimo bars! Thanks for sharing at Show Off Fridays and I hope to see you again this Friday!

    Jenn @ IHeartHandsOn.blogspot.ca

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  74. Oh my goodness these look amazing! This is a favorite on Sweet & Savoury Sunday! :) I hope you'll join us tomorrow and stop by and grab a button! :)

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  75. Congrats! You are featured on this week's Do Tell Tuesday link party and have been pinned to our features board! Feel free to grab a button for your link party page & features page, plus we'd love to have you link up this week too. :) http://www.vintagezest.com/2014/02/do-tell-tuesday-10-with-features-co-host.html

    Diane @ Vintage Zest

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  76. This mouth watering post receive the most "likes" from the February Themed Blog & Shop Hop & is featured on my blog today.
    Thanks
    Angie
    godsgrowinggarden.com

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  77. G'day! These look terrific!
    Great recipe to share at the Foodie Friends Friday Copycat Recipe Party!
    Cheers! Joanne

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  78. This is so easy to make! ANd it looks awsome!

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  79. Late to the party, obviously! But THANKS for featuring my silly little map! What started as a joke with my friends on Facebook turned into an international viral sensation. Luckily I have broad shoulders for all the negative nellies out there. Haha! It was only ever meant to be a joke because Canadians are good at laughing at themselves (unlike many others). I have received probably 2000 emails and Facebook messages from people who love it and that's good enough for me. :) Anyway, thanks! And I can't wait to try this recipe. My South African husband is obsessed with Nanaimo Bars!!

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  80. I finally have this recipe. I LOVE these yummy treats. Pinned!

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  81. These look awesome! What a delicious treat! #Be.You.Tiful

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  82. Canadian sweets are the best! Now that I have been living in western Canada for 2 years, I really should make some Nanaimo bars. Thanks for the recipe!

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  83. Hi Jenn,
    Your post has been featured at Merry Monday Link Party:
    http://milaslittlethings.com/2014/10/merry-monday-link-party-24.html

    Also,I do hope you will visit Big Autumn Bash Link Party!
    http://milaslittlethings.com/2014/10/big-autumn-bash-the-link-party.html

    xx
    Mila
    milawayable@gmail.com

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  84. Yummy food, and great pictures!! Thank you for stopping by to join Pin Worthy Wednesday! I've pinned this post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Board. Hope to see you next week!

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  85. These look so moist and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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  86. Yum! I've never heard of these but will be making in the NEAR future! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  87. Totally craving these now! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!

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  88. Jenn, these look amazing! They are new to me, but I have got to pin and try them! Is icing sugar the same as powdered sugar?

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  89. The look amazing! I've never had one before. My dads from Canada I might have to make them for him! Thanks so much for stopping by the creative spark link party hope you will link up with us again today http://bit.ly/12aACNj

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  90. Congratulations! This post (out of 400+ link ups) has been featured on Wake-Up Wednesday.
    Check it out here - http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/2014/10/diwali-wishes.html

    -Tanya
    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

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  91. YUM! Thank you for linking up at the Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays! I have pinned your post to our Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest Board! I hope to see you again this week! xo

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    1. Thanks Danielle, so glad you stopped by!

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  92. These look delicious! I have never heard of them before but I love to learn about regional foods. It sounds like a perfect combination of flavors. Stopping by from the Country Fair Blog Party!

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  93. These sound dangerous...and delicious!! I think I could possibly pull it off! Even with my limited skills! #foodpornthursdays

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  94. I've never heard of them but they sound so delicious. I will pin for later!

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  95. These sound gorgeous! And I love the history with them as welll! Thanks so much for linking up with #foodpornthursdays & I apologize for the delay commenting! x

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  96. Oh my goodness! Where have these been my whole life!?! These sound amazing! I am definitely trying these... tomorrow I am trying these! Thank you so much! All my favorite flavors :)

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  97. Gosh they look so yummy! Must get better at baking and such, the kids would love these! ;)
    #weekendbloghp

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  98. Hi Jenn, these look amazing :) I would love to eat one right now!!

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop

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  99. I discovered Nanaimo bars a few years back and love them! A little coffee shop in Spokane Washington handmade them in different flavors and they were so good. I don't get to travel to Spokane for work anymore (I get to be a SAHM instead) so thanks for the recipe!

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  100. OMG these look amazing! I'm making them this weekend! thanks so much for sharing at #funtasticfriday!

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  101. I have no doubt I would love these! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinning and tweeting to share!

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  102. Jenn, I'm from Minnesota so we're close to Canada, and I laughed outloud at the map! And those bars - I've always wanted to make some, so I'm happy to see a recipe!

    Thanks for linking up with us on Throwback Thursday - we appreciate it, and are always looking forward to next week's posts, too!! :) Be sure to follow our pinterest board, too! :)

    Mollie

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