Walnut Squares--Another Newfoundland Favourite!

Walnut Squares

Walnut Squares have a delicious shortbread bottom, a topping of walnuts and coconut topped with a light coating of creamy vanilla icing. These are a real Newfoundland favourite!

These Walnut Squares are one of my all time favourite cookies. They are a sought out delicacy on any  cookie tray I may be near.  When I spy one I make a beeline to the spot, like a hunter warrior, I capture the prize before me, eat it and then go back to see if there are anymore to be found.  But, as much as I like them, I've never made them before today.  Too bad I waited so long.  

I have several recipes for them and they are basically the same: shortbread bottom, walnut and coconut filling topped with a vanilla buttercream icing.  So I picked one to make but cut back on some of the sugar because they are quite sweet.  They turned out really good and, of course, I had a taste or two to make sure they were edible, ha, ha. 

These will make a welcome addition to any holiday cookie tray.  They aren't difficult to make and if you want to make them early they freeze well.

Just a note about walnutsWalnuts can taste awful if they aren't fresh.  Always taste walnuts before using to make sure they are not bitter.  Bitter walnuts is an indication the walnut oil is starting to turn rancid.  Walnuts should be almost sweet.  The best way to store walnuts is in the freezer as this will keep them nice and fresh for a very long time. 

Printable recipe at the end of the post.
Walnut Squares

Bottom Layer:
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
Vanilla Icing:
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk, more or less as needed
  • A few chopped walnuts for garnish, if desired
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a square 9x9-inch baking pan. For easy clean up, line baking pan with parchment paper.

Bottom Layer: Crumble the flour, softened butter and brown sugar together.  Place in prepared pan and press evenly to cover the bottom.  Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove and pour filling over. 

Filling: Beat eggs lightly and add all remaining filling ingredients.  Mix until well combined. Pour over baked bottom and return to oven. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes until top is deep golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool before icing the squares.

Vanilla Icing: Beat the butter, vanilla, icing sugar and half the milk together. Add the remainder of the milk until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Add more milk or icing sugar as needed to get the right consistency for spreading.  Spread icing over cooled squares.  Sprinkle with a few chopped walnuts if desired.  Cut into squares or bars.

Makes 25-36 squares. 

Crumble the butter, flour and brown sugar together.  Press into the prepared pan.  The bottom of a measuring cup helps smooth out the surface.

Bake the bottom for 10 minutes. 

While the bottom crust is baking mix up the filling.  Lightly beat the eggs and then mix in the remaining ingredients until well mixed.

Spread the filling over the partially baked bottom crust.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is a dark golden colour.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

When the squares have cooled make the icing for the top.  Beat butter, icing sugar, vanilla and half the milk together.  Continue beating, adding the rest of the milk as needed, to make a smooth, creamy icing.

Spread the icing over the cooled squares.

If you wish sprinkle a few chopped walnuts over the icing.

Using the parchment paper hang over, lift the squares from the pan and place on the cutting board.

It's easy to cut squares or bars if you divide the whole into four quarters. Then cut each quarter 3x3 for 36 squares per pan. For bars cut each quarter 2x4 for 24 bars.  Use a sharp knife and wipe it clean after each cut.  You'll notice I trimmed off the hard outside edges before cutting. Those trimmings are for the cook. đŸ˜‹

The squares cut nicely.  Now to have a taste.

If you cut the squares small (36) you can have more than one. 

The squares have a delicious shortbread bottom and are full of walnuts and coconut topped with a light coating of vanilla icing. 

Walnut Squares
Finally I'm getting a Walnut Square. The trimmings were good but the squares are even better!

To print click on arrow upper right side.⇩           


  1. When my mother made walnut bars, she used lemon and orange juices in the icing - cut the sweetness.


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