Wow, time really got away on me in December. I had meant to post a Christmas Whoopie Pie recipe each week for the month but instead I got carried away with all the festivities and haven’t posted anything in weeks! And Christmas is now over! Sorry about that. The good news is that I only have one somewhat festive recipe in this post-Christmas style. I wasn’t impressed with the other recipe I made and I ran out of occasions to make any other ones. So now I have saved some ideas for next year 🙂
Nanaimo bars aren’t actually specifically for Christmas but for some reason they seem perfect on a platter of Christmas goodies so that is why I thought I would go with Nanaimo Bar Whoopie Pies. Although some people would disagree, the classic bars are considered to be created in not-too-far-away Nanaimo, BC. There is the base that is usually made with graham cracker crumbs, coconut and chocolate; then the filling, which is really just buttercream with custard powder added (which gives it the distinct yellow colour); and then a delicious topping of semi-sweet chocolate. Besides the combination of tastes, I think a lot of the appeal of these treats is in the textural contrast with the chewy coconut, the smooth filling and then the harder chocolate on top. I love them! (Although they have to be done right and some store bought versions are definitely not up to par.)
To make these Whoopie Pies, I used one of the basic chocolate Whoopie recipes and added some graham flour (use whole wheat if you don’t have graham) and coconut. The filling is the classic Nanaimo Bar filling and then I dipped the completed Whoopie Pie in semi-sweet chocolate on one side. I think they turned out pretty well although I added a little extra baking soda to compensate for the heavier flour & coconut and I don’t think that was necessary (they were really quite puffy!). The recipe below does not have the extra soda & I think they will turn out better.
Nanaimo Bar Whoopie Pies
- 1/2 cup butter, room temp
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3/8 cup graham flour
- 3/8 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat 3-4 minutes until fluffy and light. Beat in the egg.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, coconut, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk to the butter while beating. Start and end with dry ingredients.
- Scoop/spoon about 1.5 Tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between each. Bake 10-12 minutes or until they bounce back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a rack to cool completely.
Nanaimo Bar Filling
3/4 cup butter, room temp
- 3 Tb custard powder
- 3 cups icing/confectioner’s sugar
- ~2-3 Tablespoons cream/milk/water
- Beat butter until smooth and light. Add custard powder and then sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to beat until smooth.
- Add cream/milk to get to a medium consistency.
Melt about 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate in a small bowl.