I’m thinking of renaming these squares to “Everyday squares” instead of what they are known as around our house.  Before I give the fairly, morbid reveal I’ll justify the name as it is actually my fault.

My grandparents had my parents later in life (30’s and 41) and my parents had my sister and I later in life (30-this is in relative terms for the time period-I’ve since kept this tradition up with my little pokie but I digress), as a result there have always been a lot of older people in our lives.  This is something that is incredibly beneficial due to the stories and knowledge base that we were exposed to but people eventually wear-out which meant that we went to a fair amount of funerals when we were younger.  You see where I’m going with this.

Also in our family, food equals comfort and you never go anywhere without a little something for the person.  Grief means baking done at an epic rate and if you are in the Ottawa Valley you get the food to the person as quickly as possible.

Okay, stay with me…I’m almost there.

One summer my Gran had a number of friends, aquaintances, neighbours pass away all within a few weeks (how does that always seem to happen?) and as I was staying with her I went to a succession of wakes.  Grandma would get “the call”, make some squares, tie-up the dog and we would be off in her Ford Scout bumping down the road.

There wasn’t time to run to the store to get ingredients (a good thirty minutes away) so she would make a very basic square that she always had the ingredients for.

Hold on…I’m just at my point.

I never knew (still don’t) what these squares were called but I thought they were called “Funeral Squares” because that was the only time that I saw them being made.  After about four funerals and these squares being produced I said the next time “Grandma, do you want help making your special funeral squares?”-I was maybe 10. 

The name stuck and I still make these squares often.  I don’t wait for funerals.  Please don’t be creeped-out, we’re actually quite a nice family and the squares are really tasty.

Can you think of a better name?

Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup flour and 2 T. white sugar.   Press into a 9×9 pan (note:  you can easily double this recipe and use a large lasagne pan).

Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes and let cool slightly.

In a bowl mix; 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional), 2 eggs, 3 T. flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Pour over the shortbread base and bake for 20 minutes.

I’ve posted my recipe for Olive Oil Chocolate cake before but I just had to put this photo in.  I got a HUGE compliment last week when my nephew (not a sweets lover) asked specifically for this cake for his birthday on Saturday.  The pressure was on.  I made a double recipe of the cake and put it in my fancy giant cupcake pan, made a simple buttercream (see previously post recipe) and decorated the whole thing with aero balls and sour cherry candies.  I took this picture right after I decorated it which turned-out to be a good thing since much of the candy disappeared into the ether before dessert time.