The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca
I was quite excited about this month's challenge, for the Gluten-free part of it and because I've always wanted to make Nanaimo bars! I actually did this challenge twice this month, as I wasn't too happy with the center part of the bars the first time around.
First off! I made the graham crackers from Vegan Cookies Take Over the World, except replaced all the flours with a mix of gluten-free flours. Worked like a charm and they were *super* yummy!
I made Mexican Hot Chocolate Nanaimo Bars for the first try, kicking up the cocoa with a bit of cinnamon and cayenne pepper in the base. I used the Sarah Kramer recipe as a jumping point, but didn't like the results whatsoever. The middle part kinda ruined the whole thing, and though they were pretty, they were not so tasty. *sadface*
But then! I decided that I would not let the mighty Nanaimo defeat me, so I sought out a sure-fire middle that would make me squeal and jump around. Helloooo pistachio ice cream! I just made a really good, solid vanilla ice cream, with a cashew base, and added in some ground up pistachios at the end of the ice cream maker cycle. Perfection! Wish I could say I wrote it down, but alas, I just kinda threw cashews, soy milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and some xanthan gum into my Vitamix, and wha-la, yummy concoction. My general rule with ice cream is that, if it tastes good before going into the ice cream maker, it will be amazing coming out. This resulted in a smooth, creamy ice cream that I must replicate soon! AND it was the perfect center for this lovely dessert. I stuck to the Sarah Kramer recipe for the bottom and top layer, and layered it up in my cute 'lil tart pans for some miniature servings (I also halved the recipe and it fit in 4 mini tart pans, with extra ice cream leftover-WOOT!)