The "classic" recipe:
1c melted butter
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 c coconut
3 c graham cracker crumbs
Melt butter with sugar and cocoa on a double boiler. While stirring like a mad person, add eggs and continue stirring like a mad person. Gradually, with your third hand (
) stir in the graham crumbs, and then the coconut. You may have some graham left over. Mixture should end up thick enough to really hurt your arm or break your spatula/spoon when stirring. Press into the bottom of a pan, preferably square or rectangular. Chill while you make the middle.
1/2 c butter (softened)
4 Tbsp custard power
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
2 c icing sugar
Mix butter and custard powder. Add vanilla and milk and then gradually add the icing sugar. This is the favorite layer. Be sure to taste a lot as you go.
I usually make double the number of recipes used for the bottom layer (so if you make one bottom, make at least 2 middles). Chill this layer for about an hour before adding the top chocolate (has to be firm).
12 oz chocolate
3 1/2 Tbsp butter
The less butter you put, the harder the top and that can make them harder to cut in the end.
Chill the whole thing either for a half hour and then slice it in the pan with a strong knife or if you line the pans with waxed paper, leaving enough over the edge to be able to pull the whole thing out in one big chunk, you can leave it over night so it gets really hard and then chop it with a chef's knife. At this point, I pack them up and freeze them, taking them out to thaw about 4 hours before they're needed. Always keep them in the fridge when they're not frozen or being quickly eaten.
If you want to be lazy, and don't want to look up the real recipe for grasshopper bars/ minty nanaimo bars, then you just make an extra bottom layer recipe above (because it's pretty well close enough) and then substitute this for the middle layer:
Middle of Minty nanaimos:
Melt 1/2 C butter
Combine with 1/3 creme de menthe (can be the fake, no alcohol kind too).
Mix on low speed (liquidy) and add 3 C icing sugar gradually.
And then you top off as in the regulars.
(The real recipe for the bottom has 1C icing sugar instead of 1/2 C granulated sugar is in the regular nanaimos. Don't know why it's different...)