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A triple layer square which boasts a coconut and chocolate flavour combination, Queen Anne Squares are an extremely popular Christmastime time confection!

Welcome back, Dear Reader.  Today is the sixth day of the Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series.  And, today, I’m so happy to post my version of the delicious Queen Anne Square.  This is probably my most favourite cookie of all time, which is why I save the recipe for special occasions and rarely make it so that it stays special and doesn’t become too common.

I don’t get to travel back to Newfoundland too often, but I do remember well the many cafe’s and bakeries that you can easily find in many small towns – and on the highways too.  Many of these establishments offer Queen Anne Squares all year round, along with many other homemade baked goods.  A square and a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon is a very common occurrence.

I like to think of Queen Anne Squares as Newfoundland’s version of the popular west coast Nanaimo Bars, which were fashioned in Nanaimo, British Colombia.  There are the three layers, and of course, the colours of those three layers are very similar to the Nanaimo Bar, but unlike the sweet, buttery west coast treat, the Queen Anne Square is not too sweet and has way more texture due to the coconut.

Truth be told, I have no idea why they’re called Queen Anne Squares.  I have searched the internet, hoping to find an answer to the mystery, but I’ve had no such luck.  But, there are many, many links that lead to Rock Recipes, which is an extremely popular recipe blog devoted to Newfoundland recipes.  That is where I found this Queen Anne Squares Recipe, so all credit goes to the author of Rock Recipes, Barry Parsons.

There’s another reason why I love Queen Anne Squares other than the brilliant texture and taste.  It’s because Lord Byron is obsessed with the Kings and Queens of yesteryear, none more so than Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry the VIII.  If you don’t know the story of Anne Boleyn, I encourage you to read about her life and her contribution to England’s reform.

Even though television does take artistic liberties from time to time, the BBC series, The Tudor’s, does stay very true to King Henry’s infatuation with Anne Boleyn and the annulment of his marriage to Queen Catherine of Aragon.  Anne played a very important role in the separation of state and church in the early 1500s.

I’ve always loved European history, but none more so than that of England.  Even when it comes to movies and television series, a period piece of any time frame is bound to catch my attention, much to the dismay of McKenna and John.e.  They much prefer Marveled Avengers or Star Trek Wars.

Anyway, you have come here for a recipe, not a history lesson or to hear about a common argument over what the Thomas-Ewing family are going to watch on television while dining in on takeout.   Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe you like to hear about the drama in other people’s households, but I’ll save those stories for another time.

Back to Queen Anne Squares now… I really do think you’ll love these squares.  Not only are they easy to make, but they do look pretty impressive.  You can certainly make these ahead of time and freeze them.  They do freeze quite well.  Just leave them at room temperature for fifteen minutes so that they can thaw and return to room temperature.  It really doesn’t take that long.

That, Dear Reader, brings us to the end of day six.  I hope you’re enjoying reading Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series as much as I enjoy writing them.  Tomorrow, we are heading back to a basic Christmastime recipe from  years gone by.  This one allows for some personal creativity too!

See the complete list of cookie recipes posted so far below.  Simply click on the name of the cookie to be taken directly to the post and recipe.  Don’t worry, you won’t lose this page; clicking on a recipe below will open a new window.

One last thing – I couldn’t resist placing this nativity crown in the background of this post.  I bought it at the end of summer at Hobby Lobby.  Would you believe that we did not have one single nativity decoration?  Until now!  How perfect is it that it’s a crown?

Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas

  1. Jumbo Marshmallow Balls
  2. Christmas Peanut Butter Rosettes
  3. Holiday Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cookies
  4. Crispy Chocolate Cookie Cutter Cookies
  5. Newfoundland Five Star Cookie Bars

 

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Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Queen Anne Squares

A triple layer square which boasts a coconut and chocolate flavour combination, Queen Anne Squares are an extremely popular Christmastime time confection!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Christmas, Newfoundland
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 354kcal
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen

Ingredients

For the Bottom:

  • 2/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

For the Middle:

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups coconut, sweetened, medium grain
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Top:

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablepoons milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

Instructions

  • Prepare a 8x8 inch baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the Bottom:

  • Vigorously stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and egg until well mixed.
  • Add flour and cocoa powder.  Stir into the wet ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour into prepared baking sheet.  Press batter into corners and along the sides of the pan.  Try to get the bottom layer as flat and as evenly distributed as possible.

For the Middle:

  • Stir the vanilla extract into the sweetened condensed milk until combined.  
  • Add the coconut and stir until completely incorporated.
  • Spoon this mixture over the bottom layer.  Try to avoid too much movement; this will help to keep the dark layer and the light layer separated, which will make the square look much prettier.  I like to use a tablespoon to scoop up the coconut mixture and dot the top of the chocolate layer.  When done, very gently spread the coconut layer evenly and flat using an off-set spatula.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Do not remove from baking pan.  

For the Top:

  • Whisk together all ingredients until well combined.  Evenly spread over the cooled squares with an off-set spatula.
  • Allow to squares to set up in the fridge for one hour.  Remove from pan using the parchment paper to help lift.  Cut into 16 squares.  (You can cut the squares smaller if you prefer.)
  • Keep covered and refrigerated.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 8.2% | Vitamin C: 0.8% | Calcium: 8.8% | Iron: 5.5%

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. First of all coconut anything is my favorite but these are over the top scrumptious and yet fit for a King! Oh my, I wish I can just take one out of the photo to eat right now. I can totally see the layers as being a total explosion of flavors!
  2. I have started to looking forward to your cookie recipes every day :-) These Queen Anne squares look delicious. I think I’ll make them for my mom and sister - who have a sweet tooth and also want some variety in their desserts. I think they’ll love these. I noticed the crown in the background and thought it was the perfect prop for you 😊.
  3. These look incredible. Like you I love to study British history. I am currently studying the Puritan factions during the English Civil Wars. I am so happy that you comment on Queen Anne's contributions because they are significant and she was a very intelligent person, and articulate in affairs of the church and State. I can't wait to give this dessert a try- thank you!
  4. You always have the best holiday treats on your site, most of which I have never heard of. This one looks particularly amazing- I think it is all the coconut that caught my eye. Yum!
  5. Squares are getting better and better each time I stumble upon square recipes! These look so good and definitely the recipe I would go all in with for this Christmas!
  6. These bars are everything and then some! What an irresistible and decadent treat for the holidays. I love the layers...it's like three desserts in one! Definitely a keeper :)

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