Christmas Cookies 2011, Recipe #3 – Walnut Squares

Chef Santa, sitting on my cookbook shelf, rules the kitchen during the holidays.

These are so easy to make. For me, they were this year’s favorite, although not at all new in my repertoire of Christmas cookies. For some reason, I reached for these more often this time around, until they ran out. Bill loves them too. My mom loved them. (I think Santa does too.) In fact, I can’t think of anyone who’s tasted them who hasn’t loved them. I do find that I can’t eat more than one or two of these morsels at a sitting because they’re so rich tasting, but then that’s me. Your sweet tooth might support plenty more.

The recipe came from a former neighbor at least two decades ago and who knows where it originated. I haven’t changed a thing from the “original” I received after my first tasting. They’re more “brownie cookie” than “bar cookie” – but who needs to define them as long as they’re sweet and luscious? They also seem to taste even better to me the next day after they’re baked, and the day after that, and…


Yield depends upon size of each square; small squares can produce as many as 25 to 30.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter (unsalted preferred)
  • 1½ cup brown sugar (dark preferred, but light OK)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


For the bottom layer:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir together flour (1 cup) and sugar.
  3. Cut butter into flour/sugar mixture.
  4. Pat the resulting mixture/dough into an 8” x 8” square pan.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, while mixing ingredients for top layer.
  6. After removing from oven, maintain oven temperature for baking the top layer.

For the top layer:

  1. Beat the eggs for about 1-2 minutes, until well-mixed and a light yellow.
  2. Add brown sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, vanilla, baking powder, chopped nuts and salt – and beat well.
  3. Pour mix onto the pre-baked bottom layer.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes (but check after about 30 minutes). When done, top will be crackly but underneath will remain slightly gooey (mine usually take about 35 minutes to get to this finished stage).
  5. Remove from oven and cut into small squares.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.


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