Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
Rainforest Nanaimo Bars This is a twist on the very popular Nanaimo bar from Canada. With the addition of peanut butter and mascarpone cheese to the filling and macadamia nuts to the cookie base, it is a scrumptious dressed–up, no-bake bar cookie that is still easy for children to prepare and freezes well—just skip the “serve” step, wrap in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil and freeze until you’re ready to serve it. Some of the sugar and fat has been modified from more traditional Nanaimo Bar recipes for this Rainforest version, but it is still a very rich bar.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 banana
- 1⁄4 cup Splenda sugar substitute
- 1⁄3 cup cocoa
- 1 large egg
- 1 3⁄4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
Mascarpone -PB Filling
- 1⁄3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1⁄3 cup peanut butter
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 6 ounces 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Splenda sugar substitute
- 2 ounces brewed espresso
- Note: Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan aluminum foil, leaving extra to hang over the edge (this will make it easier to serve later).
- Make the cookie base. Put the butter in the top part of a double boiler. Bring the bottom pan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer over medium-low heat. Set the top over the water-filled pan. Once the butter is melted, add the banana, Splenda Sugar Blend and cocoa, and stir to combine. Add the egg and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, for about 5 minutes until warm to the touch and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in graham crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan. (Save the pan of water for melting the chocolate later.)
- Make the filling: Beat the mascarpone, peanut butter and confectioners' sugar together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light. Spread over the cookie and freeze.
- Make the ganache: Put the chocolate, espresso and cream in the top of the double boiler, and set over the barely simmering water. Stir in the Splenda Sugar Blend, then stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. The ganache should have a sheen to it, and hold together well. When cool but still pourable, spread the chocolate layer over the chilled peanut butter layer and smooth over. You can press additional nuts into the top at this point fpr decoration. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Serve: Remove from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Pull out of the pan and transfer to a cutting surface. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve cool or at room temperature.
Rich,??? You betcha. That's what I love about em. Almost like a piece of fudge, so be careful how big you cut the slices. I love the fact that slip easily into the freezer to have on hand for holiday trays. A great idea and twist to normal fudge. The only deviance I made from your recipe was in the crust. I did not add the macadamia nuts. One, because I didn't have any and two because of family's preference. I"m sure any type of nut would work equally as well and be just as delish. Also, this recipe takes some time to make and so don't think you're going to make this in a hurry. Take your time and you will be rewarded with a heavenly tasty treat. Kudo's for a winning bar recipe.!~ Made for RSC#12~