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A Family Recipe for February

February 10, 2023

Cherry Holiday Squares—A Family Recipe

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

            As the calendar turns to Valentine’s weekend and then Presidents’ weekend, I  am sharing with you one of my favorite dessert recipes–first posted on WORDWALK ten years ago this month.  In my baking days, I made Cherry Holiday Squares many times and hope you will consider making this pretty dessert during the month of February.

            The original recipe (by a different name which I have forgotten) was from an old cookbook comprised of recipes from postmasters.  Somewhere, I still have this print cookbook because my mother was postmaster of the Blanford, Indiana, Post Office for

twenty-eight-and-a-half years.  In addition to being active in the state organization of postmasters, she was active in the National League of Postmasters.  Thus, when I share the following recipe with you, I remember my mother, as well as my dad who shared my fondness for almost all desserts with cherries.

Cherry Holiday Squares

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a “jelly roll” pan (10 inches by 15 inches).

2.  Cream one cup butter with one-and-one-half cups sugar.

3.  Add four eggs and beat the mixture well.

4.  Blend in one teaspoon vanilla and one teaspoon almond extract.  (Instead of vanilla and almond extract, the original recipe called for one tablespoon of lemon juice.)

5.  Blend in two cups white flour.

6.  Pour batter into well-greased “jelly roll” pan (10 inches by 15 inches).

7.  Using one (15-ounce) can of cherry pie filling and imagining a grid of 20 or 24 squares on the batter, gently drop a spoonful of the cherry pie filling atop the batter so that the cherry pie filling will eventually be atop the middle of each square or rectangle which you will later cut into 20 or 24 pieces after baking.

8.  Bake at 350 degrees for thirty to forty minutes.  (Do not underbake!  Toothpick, inserted into a portion of the cake, should come out clean.)

9.  When slightly warm or when cool, the dessert may be cut into squares and/or rectangles—with the cherry filling being the center of each piece.  Enjoy!

10. Cherry Holiday Squares keep well for three days, but may also be served warm. 

Variations:  Instead of cherry pie filling, you may try blueberry, raspberry, peach, apricot, or apple pie filling.

Happy baking!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

February 10, 2023, Friday


From → Uncategorized

  1. Hi Alice, please excuse my ignorant lack of knowledge, but what does a Jellyroll pan look like? I don’t think I have such a thing.

    • Good morning, Patty–Thank you for reading my post!  In my recipe, I
      noted that a jelly roll pan is ten inches by fifteen inches, but did not
      mention that the pan has four sides.  The depth of the pan is one inch. 
      Through a search online, you will find a number of jelly roll pans by
      well-known manufacturers; these pans are available from Amazon and other
      stores.  While my mother used the jelly roll pan for making the cake
      portion of a jellly roll, we also used this pan for other recipes (such
      as the Cherry Holiday Squares).  Although we used the jelly roll pan for
      an extra cookie sheet, a cookie sheet cannot be used for recipes that
      call for a jelly roll pan.

          Somewhere on my blog, I have a memoir poem that mentions the jelly
      rolls that my mother made for my family.

      Take care, and enjoy a happy weekend–Alice and Willow

      • Hi, you’re welcome for my read, and thanks for the explanation.

        Those do sound good. I think if I were going to make them I might be lazy and put the batter into muffin tins or do you think they might not bake up right?

        It would be so easy to do it that way.

  2. TThanks Alice, sounds lovely. Can’t bake it just now with a diabetic in the house! That would be too cruel. However I keep a recipe file and have stored it there for a time when I need to take something to a gathering out of the house.

    Warm Regards


    • Good morning, DeAnna–Many thanks for reading this post and saving the
      recipe for another time!  I enjoyed your “Bubble” poem that you posted.

      Enjoy a happy weekend!

      Alice and Willow

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