Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
There is a great deal of controversy in my family about these squares. They are called "Alethea's Squares" since the recipe originated with my great-aunt Alethea, a fabulous cook. However, there are at least two versions in circulation, and they are quite different. This one is my favourite: a nice rich cake studded with fruit, ginger and nuts, topped with butterscoth icing. Mm! Mm! It wouldn't be Christmas without them.
- 1⁄2 cup chopped favourite nuts
- 1⁄3 cup chopped preserved gingerroot
- 3⁄4 cup chopped dates
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3⁄4 cup soft unbleached flour
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons milk
- 1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar (sucanat)
- 3⁄4 cup icing sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9" square pan.
- Chop the nuts, ginger and dates.
- Set them aside.
- Beat the eggs.
- Beat in the sugar and the melted butter.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dates and nuts to the flour.
- Mix in the wet ingredients.
- It will seem like there is a great deal of dates and nuts, and very little batter.
- Don't worry, it will work out.
- Spread evenly in the prepared 9" pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, until done.
- Remove and let cool in the pan.
- Heat the butter, milk and brown sugar until dissolved.
- Beat in the icing sugar and the vanilla.
- Spread the icing over the cake.
- Cut it into squares, and remove them from the pan.