Weed, chocolate, and pumpkin Nanaimo bars

Published Oct 1, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / TobinC

Fall is just around the corner which means that it’s the ideal time to whip out all of the tried and true pumpkin recipes that you can, and this Nanaimo bar recipe is a keeper to add to the list of your favourite edibles. It uses a traditional chocolate topping and a rich pumpkin filling that screams trick or treating and changing of the leaves once it’s put together for a perfect sweet spin on the season that looks pretty enough to serve at an elegant dinner or a laid back gathering with a few of your closest friends.

What is a Nanaimo bar?

The Nanaimo bar is a Canadian dessert that consists of three carefully constructed layers including a coconut base, custard filling, wafers, dark chocolate topping, and nuts. These dessert squares are a special treat that can be brought out for all different kinds of occasions being celebrated, but the original recipe is rather standard and often overdone, which is why we’re bringing you the pumpkin version of the Nanaimo bar.

A sweet milk chocolate pumpkin Nanaimo bars recipe

This is every pumpkin lover's dream version of the Nanaimo bar because it replaces the bittersweet dark chocolate with a melt in your mouth, sugar-filled, cannabis-infused milk chocolate that coats a thick and luxurious layer of the richest pumpkin filling that you’ve ever had. We also highly recommend using an alternative to coconut which you will find listed in the ingredients because it switches up the flavor and the texture for an exciting mouthful with each and every batch.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Calories: 310

Servings: 24

Base ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter (or some combination that includes cannabutter for a super potent treat)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut (or an alternative like almonds, walnut, peanuts, or rice)
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Filling ingredients

  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (unspiced)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping ingredients

  • 6 oz milk chocolate
  • ¼ cup cannabutter

Tools

  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • 9-inch square baking pan
  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Double boiler
  • Sharp knife

Instructions

  1. Add the butter, sugar and cocoa to a medium saucepan, then melt the ingredients over medium heat while whisking them together to avoid clumping and scalding.

  2. When the butter has melted completely, and there are no visible chunks left in the pan, it is time to remove it from the burner so that the ingredients can cool down a bit.

  3. Come back to the mixture in 20 minutes or so to add in the egg, coconut (or alternative), and graham crackers, and it is important that you wait long enough because if the mixture is too hot, it will scramble the egg, leaving you with a goopy and chunky disaster.

  4. Use a large spoon to incorporate the freshly added ingredients until the mixture reaches a thick and even color and consistency.

  5. Take a slot free spatula or your hands covered in saran wrap and press the base ingredients into the baking pan.

  6. Place the base layer in the fridge for 60 minutes to set.

  7. It is now time to make the filling which requires an electric mixer. So, in a large bowl cream together the butter, icing sugar, custard, pumpkin, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.

  8. Spread the filling mixture over top of the base, and then allow it to chill in the fridge for at least 5 minutes before moving on.

  9. Add the milk chocolate and cannabutter to the top portion of a double boiler that is filled with simmering water and stir the two ingredients until they blend evenly together.

  10. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture over top of the filling and then leave it in the fridge overnight to harden.

  11. After 24 hours, use a sharp knife to divide the bars into 24 even squares and then they’re ready to serve or store away for later.

Storing Nanaimo bars for later

These fantastic pumpkin Nanaimo bars hold up just as well as the more traditional variety, which means that they can store for up to 1 week in the fridge, or last an entire month in the freezer before the taste and texture may be impacted. However, in order to maintain the longest shelf life possible, it is essential that you keep them in an airtight storage container that is appropriate for the storage method chosen. The longer the bars are exposed to air, the drier they will become, so if you want to enjoy individual servings then separate containers that are easy to freeze and defrost which will help to keep them fresh.

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