These are sinfully sweet and delicious bars that don't require any cooking at all. They make an amazing dessert that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
This recipe is the closest on this site to the official Nanaimo City recipe (which I later found). The only major differences are: Almonds in the original recipe rather than walnuts. Also, try using a total of 1/2 cup butter in the custard layer, and use heavy cream in place of the milk. On personal preference, I also use an extra square of chocolate in the top layer, just so I know it will cover the whole pan. While I'm not a Canadian, I am a native Northwesterner, and my dad was a truck driver and we often rode the ferry to Nanaimo (to deliver boats) when I was kid. These are served on the ferries. It's really too bad that this is such an obscure recipe outside the Northwest, becuase if people knew about it, it would quickly become one of their favorite desserts. As for custard powder, here is what I've found on accident. The Bird's Custard powder is in a yellow, red, and blue box. I hear it's easy to find in Canada, but not so easy to find here in the US. I was shopping at some Asian stores in my area, and low and behold, there was the Bird's Custard Powder. Although I've used vanilla pudding, I have to say, it's worth a trip to some International markets to try and find the stuff. You can also find it in large grocery stores that carry lots of specialty and organic items (even though it's not organic). Rosauers carries it here in WA, it's in a yellow/blue/red can in the baking aisle. You won't be disappointed. My mother and law also told me she has found - 22 Nov 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I've had Nanaimo bars many times and this recipe called for a bit too many graham cracker crumbs. IT made the crust a bit to dry. Next time I'll reduce it a little. My sister says to just add the crumbs slowly until you reach the texture you want. - 08 Jan 2003 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
This is a great recipe I remember it from Christmas' past. It was one of my mother's specialties and now it's mine. But a quick tip. Once the chocolate on top is hardened, take it out of the refridgerator and let stand 30-60 minutes before cutting into squares. This softenes the chocolate just enough so it won't crack under the pressure of the knife. Chill after. Also if you want to make to impress, double the custard icing and add a drizzle of white chocolate(melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon butter/margarine) on top while chocolate is still warm. - 02 Dec 2007 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)