Let’s get Irish

Nanaimo5St. Patrick’s Day used to be a day of excessive drinking, carousing and carrying on – just like my ancestors wanted. But add kids to the mix and things change, big time. Today we’re hosting a St. Paddy’s Day dinner – at 4 p.m., I kid you not. A big sorry and thank you to my childless friends who put up with this.

I made our dessert yesterday, since they needed to chill overnight to set. These mint chocolate chip nanaimo bars look fun and taste awesome. I think the green colour is the exact colour I would use if I were making slime, but whatever. Points for effort on that one.

I always thought making Nanaimo bars was difficult, but apparently not if you use custard powder to make the filling. I’m not really sure what custard powder is, so I used instant pudding mix. I think that’s what it is? Anyway, it worked, so I’m happy. The recipe is found on the back of the mint chocolate Chipits bag – it just seemed too delicious a recipe to resist. My bars do not look really like the photo on the bag, but the taste is still there.

Requirements to make food Irish: mint extract and green food colouring

Requirements to make food Irish: mint extract and green food colouring



1 cup mint chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs

1 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


2 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp custard powder

1 tsp mint extract

Green food colouring


3/4 cup mint chocolate chips

2 tsp vegetable oil


  1. BASE: In medium saucepan over low heat (or in large bowl in microwave) melt mint chocolate chips and butter.Nanaimo2
  2. Stir in graham wafer crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press evenly into 9-inch (23 cm) square pan. Chill in refrigerator about 30 minutes.Nanaimo4
  3. FILLING: In small bowl, blend icing sugar, butter, milk, custard powder, mint extract and several drops of food colouring. Spread evenly over chilled base.Nanaimo3
  4. GLAZE: Melt mint chocolate chips with vegetable oil over hot water (or in microwave). Spread evenly over filling. Chill. Cut into bars.

Word of the day:

Ceilidh: a traditional Gaelic social gathering


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