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Sister Chabanel's Squares

Updated on November 10, 2013

I inherited this recipe from my Mom, of course. It is one recipe she found in a book that she loved. I think it was one of those church get-together/recipe swap books, so it is likely not that well known. You can tell by the title. When you put your name on a recipe, you know its going to be good.

We still love them. Every time I make them and admittedly it's not that often, it reminds me of the Sunday picnics with the potluck table and the sweets table. The screaming kids playing in the field while the parents sit in the shade of the trees and share conversations. I rarely see that happening these days.

This also is one of the first memories of my Mom explaining that recipes are to be followed but once you know how they work, you can change them to suit you. I still follow her advice and if I find a recipe in a magazine or book , or off a TV show; I try it as per instructions first. Then the magic happens as I make it my own.

I, like many people, are trying to eat healthier these days, for reasons of one sort or another. Some of the recipes we grew up on were full of sugar and things we know now are not the best for our health. I tweak recipes by using things like Agava syrup instead of sugar, or coconut oil in place of butter. I also through in soluble fiber where I can without it affecting the end result.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: One or Many


  • Base:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp AP Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup walnut pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Lightly grease a 13"x8" baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. Blend base ingredients together and press into lined baking dish. Make a firm even layer.
  4. Blend topping mixture together and sprinkle over the top of the base layer. Don not press down this layer.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.
  6. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before trying to cut the squares. This let's them set up a bit.
  7. Enjoy!
Kirkland Signature Non Stick Parchment Paper, 205 sqft
Kirkland Signature Non Stick Parchment Paper, 205 sqft

Lines you baking sheet so the squares are easy to lift out. Makes clean-up easier too.

AirBake Natural Cake Pan with Cover, 13 x 9 in
AirBake Natural Cake Pan with Cover, 13 x 9 in

Maybe they don't making 13 x 8 dishes anymore... Show's how far back this recipe goes. :)

Equate Fiber Powder Clear Soluble - 125 Servings, 16.7 oz (1)
Equate Fiber Powder Clear Soluble - 125 Servings, 16.7 oz (1)

I add soluble fiber to most of my cooking, It adds nothing to the taste but is a benefit to your health.


Do you remember the Sunday Picnics?

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    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Some cookies are best saved for the holidays. Keep the traditions alive and pass them on.

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @CrazyHomemaker: I made these for my wife when I was testing out this recipe and she loved them too but suggested one addition... chocolate. A drizzle of dark chocolate would really recipe pop.

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      Northerntrials...I just made these and couldn't wait for my tea. I wanted to let you know that this is a PERFECT bar recipe. Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nope. No Sunday picnics but your article reminds me so much of my mom, especially this time of the year. Man, she could get in that kitchen and bake up some of the best cookies. Her favorites were called "Charlotte's Chocolate Patch Cookies". She'd start baking them in October and we'd have cookies right through New Years.

      And cakes - huge cakes made in those 10-inch round cake pans. Know what? She never even used a mixer - refused to buy one. I still remember her huge mixing bowl and the great big spoon she'd use. She would park herself at her favorite spot at the kitchen table and beat that batter while we counted the strokes - never less than 120.

      Great memories that I'll cherish forever. Thanks for sharing your memories and thanks for the recipe!

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @CrazyHomemaker: For sure they would go great with tea. Quick and easy to make. Very hard to let sit long enough to cool completely.

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      We never had Sunday picnics at church or otherwise. However, we did go to Auntie's house for soup just about every Sunday after church. This recipe sounds really scrumptious! This is going to be a me-time tea time treat. Bookmarking for future. Thanks for sharing!