Raise your hand if your grandma used to call squares “dainties”.
If you just raised your hand, I'm going to guess that you're from good hardy Canadian prairie stock or perhaps from the Midwestern part of the United States. Squares in my household growing up were “dainties” and dainties were associated with Christmas at my grandmother's house more than any other food that I can remember, excepting her Christmas pudding, of course.
Mike has fond memories of travelling to my Grandma's house for Christmas and enjoying what he called the “Christmas Tree of Happy.” My Grandma had a little Christmas tree platter that would stay loaded up with dainties the entire length of your visit at Christmas.
She would bake for months ahead of time, making sure that she had a freezer full of dainties to share with everyone.
Alas, the dainty has rather fallen by the wayside in favor of cookie and cupcakes, but to me, there is nothing like baking up a pan of squares for Christmas. In fact, you seldom see a wide variety of squares at any Christmas gathering, making them a unique addition to your dessert table.
This year I'm going to bake up more than a few dainties for Christmas, because I seriously love squares in all forms. They are usually easy, fast and hard to mess up.
These lovely squares were found on the back of a Heath toffee bag and you know what I always say about those recipes; they are usually fabulous.
These were certainly fabulous.
A decadent, rich shortbread base with toffee, chocolate chips and almonds baked on top.
They are also a chewy bar, which was a fabulous change from the norm. These are for the people who love a little jaw breaking when they have treats, like my Dad.
I did change the recipe and replaced the coconut in the original recipe with chocolate chips instead. While I love coconut, my family doesn't like it as much as I do. Plus. I mean, chocolate makes everything better.
For a few more squares ideas I hit up the Life Made Delicious website and found a few gems;
Mississippi Mud Bars – Uses bisquick…..I'm intrigued…
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars– You had me at chocolate and peanut butter.
Ultimate Turtle Cookie Bars : Yum.
So do you have any classic squares or dainties that your family makes every year? Ours is date squares, also known as the Reason Mike Married Me squares. That man can eat a whole pan and stay skinny. Drives me crazy.
Happy Baking everyone! Have you started making your list of Christmas baking yet? Mine is, of course, a mile long but there is a ton of deliciousness coming your way on this site!
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Almond Crunch Toffee Bars
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 30 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups Heath Toffee Bits OR Skor bits
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup sliced almonds divided
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease sides of 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
- Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Gradually add flour, beating until well blended.
- Press dough evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, combine toffee bits and corn syrup in medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until toffee is melted (about 10 to 12 minutes). Stir in ½ cup almonds.
- Spread toffee mixture to within 1/4-inch of edges of crust.
- Sprinkle remaining ½ cup almonds and chocolate chips over the top.
- Bake an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.