December 10, 2014

Pistachio Nanaimo Bars

OMG . . . These bars are so stinkin good and I can't even stop eating them. The texture, the flavor . . . . everything, I mean really.  They are delicious at room temperature AND served cold, right out of the fridge.  If you eat them cold, you will first get that "snap" from the chocolate topping, followed by the creamy thick pistachio filling, then the chewy (and a little crumbly) base.  Don't judge the individual layers, wait until you try them all together.  All the layers together are perfection. 

This is the kind of recipe that you should give away to your neighbors ASAP, because you WILL want to eat the entire pan by yourself.   

My little niece wanted to put Christmas sprinkles over the top, which would have been way cute, except the chocolate was already hardened when she thought of it.  So, if you want to pretty them up a bit, you can top with sprinkles or chopped pistachios.

Pistachios are pretty pricey and you could always substitute pecans, walnuts or maybe even almonds in the crust.  

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Pistachio Nanaimo Bars
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner 
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 egg, lightly beaten  
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbl. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. crushed graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve/9 full crackers)
1 c. coconut, toasted
1/2 c. pistachios, finely chopped

Pistachio Filling:
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant pistachio pudding
pinch of salt
6 Tbl. milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Chocolate Topping:
1 c. chocolate chips (I used milk)
1 Tbl. coconut oil (or you can use shortening or butter)

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan and spray with cooking spray.  Place graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut and chopped pistachios in a large bowl; set aside.  In a medium saucepan, stir together the egg, cocoa powder, sugar, cubed butter and vanilla.  Heat over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture starts to bubble.  Remove from heat and pour over graham cracker mixture.  Stir together until everything is evenly coated in butter mixture.  Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  

For the Pistachio Filling:  Cream together butter, dry pudding mix, salt and milk until creamy.  Add one cup powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add remaining one cup of powdered sugar and almond extract and mix until smooth and creamy.  Spread evenly over prepared graham cracker layer.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.  

For the Chocolate Topping:  In a small microwave-safe dish, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil.  Microwave until chips are melted, stopping to stir every 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.  Carefully, spread evenly over chilled bars.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

Jenn's Notes: These are amazing served cold and room temperature.  If you cut the bars while they are cold, the chocolate topping will crack a little.  If you cut them at room temperature, the chocolate will cut easier.  Mine still tasted great on day four.   


  1. Nanaimo bars are one of my favorites and I love that you used pistachio!

    1. I am now a huge fan of Nanaimo bars too!! Thanks.

  2. Oh my goodness, these bars look amazing!

  3. I love making nanaimo bars! Pistachio is a great flavor - yum :)