This year I did things a little differently. I asked each family member what treat they would like me to make for Christmas. Thinking I knew my husband like a book, I thought for sure he would choose Buckeyes or Ting-a-lings but no, he chose a recipe his mother made when he was a boy, one of which I had never heard of before: Pineapple Squares.
Himself and I met in 1992 at Fort Dix, New Jersey while he was stationed there. I worked in an ICU at a local hospital where a nurse friend of mine had been hounding me to attend her church’s singles group when I finally caved and went. Himself was there, I was not interested in him or any other guy at the time but things changed quickly when he left a note on my truck asking me to call him sometime. Thankfully my roommate encouraged me to call him, “Call him, he is a lonely GI trying to make a friend.” That’s what I was worried about. I did call, thought he was boring but went out with him anyway. Our first date was at a New Jersey diner and our second date was bowling, third was playing poker with a bunch of his Army buddies, and our fourth was square dancing. Somewhere in there we said, “I love you,” and 14 months later we were married. Nothing is boring about our lives. We have lived in wonderful places, met amazing people, have had unbelievable opportunities, and most importantly, we have three incredible children. Yup, Himself is the best.
I gladly made Himself his Pineapple Squares. After searching the web and having friends on twitter hunt down the recipe for me, his mom finally found the recipe from her sister. Although the recipes sent to me by Mary on twitter looked fantastic, I KNEW that I had better make the one Himself remembered to avoid hearing, “These don’t taste like my mother’s,” which would send me from the kitchen screaming, “fine, go back to your mother’s then!”
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4 cups butter, chilled and cubed
2 T. sugar
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
20 ounce can crushed pineapple- do not drain!
1 egg beaten
2 T. cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 ounce container green candied or glazed cherries
4 ounce container red candied or glazed cherries
In your stand or hand mixer blend the crust ingredients until a fine crumb is formed. Set aside 3/4 cup crumb mix and with the rest press into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a double boiler stir the filling ingredients, except the cherries, until thickened. Stir in cherries. Pour over baked crust. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture and bake for another 25 minutes. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 24 squares wiping the knife between cuts. Makes 24 pieces.
These are not only beautifully festive, they are very tasty too.
Have a happy weekend. Fingers are crossed for snow but only if it falls on the lawn and not the streets, sidewalks, and driveway.