These squares are easier to make than tarts. This rendition was inspired by a Canadian Living recipe. See the tip below the recipe: I lined the pan with parchment paper with hanging sides. I baked them in a 9-inch/2.5L and in an 8-inch/2L square pan – they were both good – the 8-inch pan makes thicker layers. You can leave out the nuts or substitute them with more raisins or dried cranberries – 1½ cups of raisins or dried cranberries (or a mixture) make the squares thin, chewy and delicious, especially in a 9-inch pan. I baked them the full 25 minutes. I like to keep them in the fridge – your choice. They are tooth-achingly sweet – they go well with a glass of milk or a cup of tea or coffee. If desired, cut them in smaller squares or narrow bars. An important tip: These keep better and are deliciously chewy stored in the fridge.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
For crust, in a food processor or using a pastry blender in a bowl, combine flour and sugar. Process or cut in butter until crumbly. Press mixture into 8-inch/2L or 9-inch/2.5L square cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350F (180C) oven for 15 minutes. Cool.
For filling, whisk together melted butter with eggs in medium bowl. Blend in brown sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, salt and vinegar. Stir in raisins and walnuts; pour over crust.
Bake in 350F (180C) oven until top springs back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Cut into squares.
Makes 16 squares.
Tip: Lining baking pans is much easier with wet parchment paper! Place under running water, crumple it, squeeze to remove excess water, unfold and press into pan. Then grease lightly with vegetable oil or butter.