squares, not balls

on the twenty-first day of december...

it took a lot of balls to come up with last week’s recipe post!


this week, we’ll simmer down a little.

today’s recipe is definitely in the running as my favourite of our christmas treats. i was thinking that i have never known a christmas without these squares – and i am right! mom let me know that she has made this recipe every christmas since 1967, and she got the recipe from a teaching colleague/friend at smithson school.

now, you may know this recipe as “nanaimo bars,” but in our family, they always have been “squizzle squares.” (you’ll see why in a minute). we’re not sure whether it was me or the brother who came up with this name…matters not! squizzle squares they are, and will be forevermore!

once again, this past saturday saw me at the store and mom in the kitchen. we were both happy to be in our respective locations! by the looks of the photos, mom did a great job on the squares again this year – but no taste-testing ’til christmas! ’tis the rule!

this is mom's original, mimeographed copy - note how well-loved it is!

here’s your recipe:

Squizzle Squares
Butter a 9โ€X 9โ€ square pan.
Part 1: The base
Over low heat mix together and stir until butter melts:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
5 Tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

cocoa + butter...mmmmm!!

Remove from heat and add:
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 chopped walnuts
2 cups graham wafer crumbs
Press mixture smoothly into the greased pan.ย  (I press down the mixture firmly using the wide end of my pancake turner.)
Let mixture set in the fridge until very cold.

use your muscles!

Part 2: The icing
2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons prepared vanilla custard powder
Just enough cream or milk to make of easy spreading consistency.ย  (Start with 1 Tablespoon of cream or milk and then add more very slowly, drop by drop, if required.)
Spread over cold, set base.

as kids, we used to lick the beaters and any icing remnants stuck to the bowl!

...and back into the fridge! second step, complete!

Part 3: The topping
Melt 1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate and drizzle back and forth in thin streams over top of the icing.
Let stand until cold.
Cut into squares or oblongs with a very sharp knife.

see, aren't squizzles more fun than a solid chocolate top?!

the finished product: and now you know why these are called SQUIZZLE SQUARES!

my favourite way to eat these squares remains unchanged from childhood: i nibble off the squizzled chocolate, then eat the rest of the square in small bites, savouring the mix of textured chocolate base and creamy icing top. mmmm!

let’s talk about SQUARES! (even though they’re not nearly as amusing as BALLS). i adore the apple squares at tango palace in toronto. i am very fond of dates squares. i can take or leave brownies.

at christmas, i love our marzipan squares, peanut butter squares, and my grandma c’s recipe of coffee squares. i dislike and refuse to even taste the caramel squares that are part of our christmas sweets collection – mostly because they are an add-on in recent years, and not part of our “traditional selection!”

i may be able to squeeze in one more recipe blog post before xmas…it depends on mom’s productivity!


have to say, i’m kinda jazzed about the idea of blogging about BUNS!

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Dorry  On December 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    haha! love it. these look amazing – anything with a chocolate drizzle is good in my book. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 22, 2011 at 6:36 am

      i agree! a squizzle drizzle is fairly easy to do but jazzes up the look of a baked treat – and is delicious!

  • Johanna B  On December 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

    My favorite “squares” are lemon squares that my mother used to bake (not just at Christmas). You can buy something similar in a boxed mix now but they’re just not the same. Your squizzle squares look yummy. I love chocolate “cake” with white icing in any form so I’m sure I’d enjoy them.

  • Stephanie  On December 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Ha! You crack me up with your captain obvious inappropriate puns. Reminds me of being a frazzled first year teacher in gym class and snapping at a bunch of 11-year-old boys bouncing basketballs to “Stop playing with your balls”. Yeah, try maintaining peace and order after THAT.

    Squizzle squares look and sound elcious!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

      oh, your anecdote MAKES MY DAY. i am honestly laughing as i type. that is too funny. of course, it was not at the time!!

  • Zo  On December 21, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Buns! Too funny!
    The squizzle squares look yummy! I’m definitely a square fan (that’s how I make my chic. chips). I like brownies, lemon squares, pretty much anything as long as raisins aren’t involved!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

      yes – choco chip cookies in square form – awesome! thanks for the reminder to do that! ok i did not not that you are not a raisin fan – me, too! much better to sub in choco chips in a recipe!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: