How do you celebrate a Harvard graduation when coronavirus cancels the traditional ceremony? Turn on the livestream and bake a batch of Harvard Squares. I found this recipe, named for the crimson and white colors of the school, in The Eastern Junior League Cookbook (Ballantine, 1982). Cellist Yo Yo Ma entertained me while I mixed the ingredients. Later, I brought them to the campus, where my daughter and a small group of her fellow graduates held a gathering to celebrate. These taste a bit like Linzer torte and are so rich you may want to cut them into smaller squares. The perfect accompaniment? Champagne!
Harvard Squares (Makes 16 squares)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup chopped walnuts [I used pecans]
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs.
- Add the flour and walnuts. Stir well.
- Grease an 8×8 inch pan and spread half the dough in it. This is best done by scattering half the mixture over the bottom and patting it down. [You may want to lightly flour your hand so it doesn’t stick to the dough]. Spread preserves over this to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Cover with the remaining dough. [I scattered it in clumps and didn’t press it down].
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
- Let cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar while still in the pan [I omitted this step and didn’t regret it]. Cut into 2-inch squares.