January 2010 Daring Bakers


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The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers & Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks & www.nanaimo.ca.

I’m finally back doing the Daring Bakers Challenges after a couple of months off. I am very glad to be back. Our challenge this month was Gluten-Free Wafers & Nanaimo Bars, a Canadian Bar Dessert.

Lauren tells us that “Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Colombia. In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Nah-nye-Moh. These bars have 3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut & nuts, a middle custard layer, & a topping of chocolate.”

Recipe Source: Graham Wafers — 101 Cookbooks (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000126.html) I adapted it to be gluten-free. The adapted recipe can be found at www.thedaringkitchen.com Nanaimo Bars — City of Nanaimo (http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/visitors/NanaimoBars.html)

Here are my adaptations & whoops.

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
1 cup Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons Earth Balance (Cut into 1” cubes & frozen)
1/3 cup Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons Soy Milk
2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, & salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter & pulse on & off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk & vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft & sticky. Okay, this is where my whoops came in. For some reason I had 1cup stuck in my head, so I added 1 cup of soy milk, well, it was only supposed to be 5 tablespoons (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon). Soooo…. I had to add more rice, tapioca & sorghum flour & a little more brown sugar. It was still a little soft, but was workable.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour & pat the dough into a rectangle about 1“ thick. Wrap in plastic & chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half & return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface & roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8“ thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4“ squares. Gather the scraps together & set aside. Place wafers on 1 or 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper & lower positions & preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, & reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour & roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in 2 or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned & slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, & the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled, place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out & smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Nanaimo Bars

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds whipped with ¼ cup water
1 1/4 cups Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup Almond flour
1 cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
12 oz silken tofu, firm
2 tablespoons Vanilla Pudding Mix (mori nu)

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Earth Balance


1. For bottom Layer: Melt butter, sugar & cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg & stir to cook & thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts & coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8“ pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream tofu & pudding mix until smooth. Refrigerate until firm. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate & butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer & chill.


Additional Information: These bars freeze very well, so don’t be afraid to pop some into the freezer.

The graham wafers may be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

These were really good!  I should’ve used extra-firm tofu for the pudding ‘cuz it was a bit squishy, but sooo good.  I am so making these again.