Just before Christmas, my church always held a fund-raising bake sale for the youth group activities. When I was about 12, my mom popped up with this recipe, which I made – and it sold out before we met for Sunday School! It was hugely popular with adults and kids alike. I have no idea where she got the recipe, but it went into the church cookbook the following year by popular demand. Holiday Squares look festive, and so complex – but they’re super-easy to make. Essentially, they’re almost a pound cake, with pie filling baked in. Although they’re great with coffee, I have to confess they don’t make a bad quick breakfast either!
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pie filling (we always used cherry and apple)
Mix butter and sugar together until well-blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added. Beat in flour and lemon juice. Batter will be fairly stiff.
Transfer batter into greased cookie sheet or baker’s half sheet pan. Smooth batter levelly, especially into corners.
With a sharp knife, mark 20 squares into the batter. With a tablespoon, scoop up pie filling, and place into the center of each square.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still very warm.