Tag Archives: nanaimo bars

A Nanaimo bar by any other name…

3 Jan My Banyan Batik Ketan version with a plate of butter dominoes

1 - Dessert Quilt Blocks Pinnable imageFellow Quilters,

Happy New Year!  I’m excited to have a fresh new year full of opportunities opening up in front of my eyes.  Tomorrow I embark on the first of 2 quilting cruises this month – talk about adventure!  I’m teaching 4 fun classes on an 11-day Panama cruise with K&A Quilt Studio of Ingersoll, ON.  And at the end of the month, I set sail to Hawaii with World of Quilts Travel, teaching 8 tip-filled classes.  I was in Hawaii briefly in October and can’t wait to get back – the quilt shops are soooo deliciously inspiring!  I’ll post photos on my Facebook page.

Speaking of delicious, the theme for this month’s Quilt Block Mania is dessert – yum!  It’s my favorite course.  So many options!  I pondered the possibilities – pie was already taken (an obvious choice for a dessert quilt block), so I asked Hubby for some suggestions.  He looked at the stacks of containers filled with Christmas baking and said, “How about butter dominoes?”  Perfect!

I know, you’re thinking “What are butter dominoes?”  I’m glad you asked!  They’re a super yummy, always-requested, no-bake layered square that my mom (and her mom before her) has been making for 60 years.

Classic butter dominoes

Classic butter dominoes

I googled butter dominoes – nothing, other than pizza references, came up.  Apparently, my family is the only one that refers to these tasty Canadian-born treats as butter dominoes.  The more common name is Nanaimo bars.  Interestingly, they have also been called prayer bar, London Fog bar and New York slice.

mint nanaimo bars

Mint Nanaimo bars

What’s more, they now come in a variety of flavours such as mint, cappuccino, peanut butter, and more in addition to the original vanilla.

Butter Dominoes quilt block by Patti Carey

Butter Dominoes block by Patti Carey

Here’s my Butter Dominoes block, with 4 butter dominoes on it – ‘cause you can’t have just one!  I used Northcott’s Toscana suede-look texture for the pattern (download it here), but I was fresh out of it in my sewing room so I used some fab Ketan colors from Banyan Batiks.


My Banyan Batik Ketan version with a plate of butter dominoes

I especially like the lighter brown fabric that makes up the base of the squares – you can almost see the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut in the fabric – haha.

You can find the other 20 participating bloggers’ blocks at the links below:

Jelly Roll Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Birthday Layer Cake by Crafty Staci
Ice Cream by Inquiring Quilter
Thumbprint Cookie at Inflorescence
Cupcake Block by BoBerry Design Co.
Cakestand by Scrapdash
Rocket Pop at Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Banana Split by QuiltFabrication
Guava Empanadas by Paleofish Designs
Butter Dominoes at Patti’s Patchwork
Cupcake by Penny Spool Quilts
Macarons at Lovingly, Lissa
Ice Cream Cone at The (not so) Dramatic Life
Rainbow Gelatin by Patchwork Breeze
Sherbet Pop by The Quilting Room with Mel
Peppermint by Katie Mae Quilts
Smarties By Sally’s Sewing Circle
Rainbow Sprinkles
Cake on Stand
Cherry Pie by Flowerdog Designs
Raspberry Cheesecake block by Blue Bear Quilts

Now, I usually share a baking recipe around Christmas time, so this month’s theme is the perfect chance to share my mom’s butter domino recipe with you (the recipe looks lengthy but it whips up in 15-20 minutes.  Feel free to leave out the nuts if you have allergies to them.

Butter Dominoes

Combine… ½ cup melted butter or margarine
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or vanilla wafer crumbs)
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts
Press into a 9” x 9” pan that has been lined with waxed or parchment paper (for easy removal)
Cream… ¼ cup butter
Blend in…  2 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix or custard powder (I used Bird’s custard)
3 tbsp milk
2 cups icing or powdered sugar
Spread over crumb mixture and chill.
Melt…   3oz. (3 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter
Spread quickly on chilled mixture.  Chill and cut into bars or squares. (I score the chocolate layer before it gets too firm)

I hope your 2023 is off to a sweet start!

Chat soon,