3 Classic Square Recipes

3 squares

When I was growing up, my Mom would always make the same two squares for Christmas – Hello Dollies (also known as Magic Cookie Bars or 6-layer bars) and Millionaire Squares, with a lovely shortbread base. She is a smart woman, my Mom. She would make them up ahead and freeze them until bringing them out over the holidays for special meals or company. That is the only way these squares would have lasted until Christmas around our house!

Unfortunately for her, we were all on to her little freezing trick and we would all make regular trips to the big chest freezer in the basement to steal one or two. By the time each of the kids and my Dad did this a few times, the tins were half empty by the time Christmas arrived. Mom surely notice but to her credit, never said a word!

I try to bake these square up every year for my kids (and I don’t bother freezing them) and this year I’m adding a new “classic” to my baking list – Anna Olson’s Chocolate Almond Toffee Bars.

Millionaire Shortbread Squares


For the crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter

For the caramel layer:
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 14 oz./300ml. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350° F.
For the crust, mix together the flour, sugar and butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 8- inch square pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before proceeding.
For the caramel layer, in a heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the corn syrup and the condensed milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture turns medium caramel colour. Watch carefully and stir constantly so the mixture doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over cooled crust. Allow to cool.
For chocolate topping, melt chocolate chips in the microwave or in a saucepan and spread over the caramel layer. Cool until set. Cut into bars or squares.

Hello Dollies


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans, if you prefer)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 300 ml. can sweetened condensed milk ( try Eagle Brand™)


Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter and pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan (or try an 81/2 x 11-inch pan for a thicker square). Spread the melted butter evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted butter and press lightly into butter. Sprinkle the walnuts over the graham wafer crumbs, then the chocolate chips, then coconut, spreading evenly over the pan. Pour the condensed milk evenly over top of the coconut and spread to cover.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Cut into small squares when cooled.

Anna Olson’s Chocolate Almond Toffee Bars


1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup Skor™ toffee bits
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds
1 can (14oz/300ml) sweetened condensed milk


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the sides of the pan.
Stir the oats, graham crumbs and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Press the mixture into the prepared pan to form a base.
Sprinkle base with evenly with Skor bits, followed by chocolate chips then sliced almonds. Pour condensed milk evenly over top (it will sink as it bakes).
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and edges are bubbling. Cool to room temperature in the pan. Chill for at least 4 hours before slicing into bars.
Bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or freeze to enjoy later.

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