Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Hip to Eat Squares

I rarely write about food, but “squares” have been on my mind ever since I visited Prince Edward Island.

I’ve never seen a true square in the United States; sure, there are brownies, blondies, even lemon squares (ignore the name; it’s misleading), but these are all specialty treats, likely to be found in a smart American bakery.

I’m talking about the squares that are served at small-town strawberry socials, at church functions, at down-home lobster suppers, the recipes of which are lovingly passed down from generation to generation and are decidedly not available to the publique for purchase.

These squares are layered—homemade strawberry jam between chocolate, for instance—and often have thick, buttery icing. But the key to the squares is variety—you want to see platters groaning with an abundance of tiny squares, so you can assemble a dessert-y feast.

One of my favorite childhood memories is the chocolate marshmallow square, which, for a child, is simple to make. For an adult, it’s a grown-up s’more, without the fire.

My complaint about a s’more is that it has too much graham cracker, and I’d prefer the chocolate to be thinner, if possible. Chocolate marshmallow squares resolve this issue.

You simply grease (butter!) a baking pan and line it with graham crackers.

Then melt a package of chocolate chips and mix in one cup of butter, two cups of icing sugar, and two beaten eggs.

Let this mixture cool a bit and add four cups of miniature marshmallows. Mix it up.

Spoon the mixture into the baking pan and let cool in the fridge. Cut into tiny squares.

Disclaimer: I haven’t made this recipe in *years,* and I’m not in my own kitchen for another week, so I’m unable to do a taste test. But this recipe is pretty standard, if anyone wants to try it.

Also: the image above contains peanuts but does not have the graham cracker crust.


Sal said...

Around these parts, they're called "bars." It's a genre of food I never encountered growing up in Chicago.

K.Line said...

Oooh, Sal's comment is so fascinating. Maybe it's more of a small town thing? In TO we do have squares (and bars) - but then we have everything you could ever want to eat.

And, really, do I need any more ammunition at this point?? :-)

WendyB said...


miss cavendish said...

Love semantics.

Sal, To me, *bars* are bigger and rectangular, while *squares* are daintier (meaning you can eat 12 tiny squares without noticing!). Are bars rectangular to you?

K.Line, I'll be waiting to see whether you make these (for M, of course). . . ;-)

miss cavendish said...

Hi WendyB--maybe these squares could use some of your famed Cadbury chocolate. . . ?

Belle de Ville said...

Are those on the Atkins diet?