Graduation Fare: Harvard Squares

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

Confectioners’ sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add the flour and walnuts. Stir well.
  4. 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].
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  6. 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.

About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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1 Response to Graduation Fare: Harvard Squares

  1. I just started my blog a few months ago and discovered this site just two weeks now, and wow…So grateful for you. Thanks for the post. awesome.. Dierdre Mathew Hartfield


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