Cookies from the Book: Nut Squares

     Last Saturday the snow had us snowed in.  Not really, I just needed an excuse to stay home enveloped in comfy yoga pants, cosy socks, a t-shirt and my cashmere wrap sweater.  I treasure days like these.  Days where it is best to stay home, enjoying the snow while looking out the window holding a cup of freshly brewed coffee.  It was beautiful here in our little suburbia.  Our neighborhood has quite a few really great old giant pine trees, the snow blanketed each branch from the ground to the sky.  It looked like they had been dusted with generous amounts of powdered sugar.  All of this together inspired me to do some baking last Saturday.
     Eric had ventured out that morning since he had an appointment and afterward headed to the store.  I texted him a list of items for some soup I wanted to make.  After the soup was completed I decided to start baking.  I returned to the Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook circa 1975, the same book that brought these lemon bars into my life. To be honest I looked through that book a lot but always end up making the same things.  This time I wanted to try something different.
     Usually I am drawn to recipes with pictures.  I realized this was really limiting.  My parents always taught us it doesn't matter what something looks like outwardly, it's what on the inside that really counts.  This was usually made in reference to people but I extended it to apply to the picture-less recipe.  While a picture is nice, something can look awesome and taste well, meh.  Despite my personal preference, out of the box I ventured and picked a recipe devoid of pictures but sounding tasty, butterscotch bars.  After a quick search for the ingredients the recipe called for, I discovered I had no butter.  Baking without butter is a bit of a challenge and after discovering my lack of butter, I just about gave up.  Then on the same page I noticed, a recipe entitled nut squares.  It was just a quick write up of a method with the ingredients listed in the directions. With just 7 ingredients, all of which I possessed, I went to work.  I adapted this recipe slightly and while my pictures show nutmeg, I forgot to add it in.  Well, there is always next time.




     Try this recipe for the next afternoon tea, snowy day, cookie exchange, or when a craving for a chewy subtlety sweet cookie strikes.  These squares are down right delicious and made a believer out of me that sometimes things don't have to showcase a picture to be delicious.  However before baking these, feast on these pictures I have included for those of you non-believers that just need a picture before proceeding with a recipe.




















Almond Graham Squares print 


     Preheat oven to 300ยบ F.  With a KitchenAid type mixer or hand mixer, beat 3 eggs until thick, light lemon colored, and soft ribbons form when egg beater attachment is lifted out of batter.  Add sugar gradually 1/4 cup at a time in 3 additions, beating well after each addition.  Beat thoroughly until very thick.  Blend in 1 1/2 teaspoon good vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Fold in 2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (if making your own it is approximately 24-26 graham squares), and 1/2 cup finely chopped oven roasted unsalted almonds.  Turn mixture into 8 x 11 x 2 inch greased baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely.  Cut into bars and sift powdered sugar over bars. 




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