Oh, does Canada have some great food or what? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

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Oh, does Canada have some great food or what?

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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 12:00 am

I can picture it now. Some little boy decides to go down a snow-laden hill in the most dangerous manner possible (though he’s just thinking it will be fun), doesn’t get hurt, does it again and again. He shows his friends and, before you know it, a new Winter Olympics sport is born.

In honor of the Olympics in Canada, these recipes are from Canadian friends of mine and are traditional to Canada. I was first made familiar with Nanaimo Bars and Butter Tarts when co-workers would bring them for Canada Day (along with the movie Strange Brew playing in the conference room). The Matrimonial Bars recipe is from Lea, who you can find behind the sample counter at Trader Joe’s and shared the recipe when she found out the theme of this column.

Like most “traditional” recipes, there are lots of minor variations that can be found, so these are hopefully representative enough to satisfy any Canadian-born reader, and delicious enough for the rest of us.

 

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lori Rossi began collecting recipes at age 14, but her real love affair with cooking started after picking up a December 1989 Bon Appetit magazine. Contact Lori with a question or idea at azlrossi@gmail.com.

 

Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup sugar

5 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 egg, beaten

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

1 cup coconut

Melt first three ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8-inch-by- 8-inch pan.

 

Middle Layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. and 2 tsp. cream

2 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding

2 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter, cream, pudding powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

 

4 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill bars in refrigerator. Before the top has completely hardened score with knife for easy cutting.

 

Butter Tarts

Crust:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Press into tart tins or muffin tin cups. Do not pre-bake.

 

Filling:

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

Raisins, dried currants or nuts

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla and salt. Cover bottom of crust with raisins, pour filling over top to about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Matrimonial Bars

Date Filling:

1/2 lb. chopped dates

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. grated orange rind

2 Tbsp. orange juice

1 tsp. lemon juice

Combine filling ingredients, except for juices, and cook until thick. Stir in orange and lemon juice. Cool completely.

 

Crust:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients and pat 2/3 of mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan. Spread filling and sprinkle top with remaining crumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Chill before cutting.

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