Monday, February 22, 2021

An old recipe for some new Raspberry Squares

Last week, I started testing recipes for my second book of department store tearoom recipes, and this one is perhaps the richest dessert I have ever made. It would have been lovely to be able to order a single slice of this at a tearoom, because then you wouldn't have it sitting there in the fridge at home to tempt you. This recipe comes from a booklet I bought on eBay years ago titled Holiday Treats and Elegant Buffet Dishes, and it comes from the tearoom at Halle Brothers Co., an old department store that was based in Cleveland, Ohio.

I do love raspberry-flavored treats, so once I discovered that this recipe calls for raspberry pie filling and that said pie filling can be purchased at Walmart, I was all in!

The taste was all I hoped it would be. The cookie-type base added the structure needed, and the tartness of the raspberry pie filling … well, I should just buy the pie filling and eat it straight out of the can. But that topping … when you take a look at all the fattening stuff that's in it, you'll see why this is so good! (I did a drive-by and dropped some off with friends to get it out of the house quicker, and it got great reviews.) And a bar of about 1 x 3 inches would sure be a fancy addition to a tea tray—at the holidays or anytime. So here's the recipe if you're interested in trying it!

Halle's Tearoom Raspberry Squares


3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup cold margarine (I used butter)

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla


2 cups raspberry pie filling (I used Duncan Hines brand)


1 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup marshmallow creme

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

Garnish: 1 cup coconut

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and butter and blend well, just as you would a pie dough. (Following a tip I read in Southern Living years ago, I use a cheese grater and *grate* my cold butter when I need to blend it into biscuits, scones, etc. It's so much easier to get those "pea-sized" pieces that way.) In a small bowl, beat egg yolks, milk, and vanilla and add to dry ingredients, and combine all with a fork until well blended. Chill dough for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out a little over half of the dough, rolling it quite thin. (I rolled mine between two pieces of wax paper, and the colder the dough, the better.) Place on a large (15.25 x 10.25-inch) greased cookie sheet. Spread with pie filling, almost to edges. Roll out the remainder of the dough very thin and place over the filling. Bake about 25 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely.

For icing, whip all ingredients together using an electric mixer and, when pan of cookies is completely cool, spread on top. Sprinkle with coconut. Cut into squares of desired size.

Recipe notes that “blueberry pie filling is equally delicious.”


  1. OH MY!!! This sounds wonderful! Plus, it is beautiful and quite impressive just to look at! So glad you shared the recipe and I am already looking forward to that next book! Susan in NC

  2. Well you know how for some odd reason you and I have a weird connection? Always have since we met? Well, it has been months and months since I made raspberry crumble bars...yet made them this morning. How weird is that???

    Can't remember if I ever told you - I remember the Halle's jingle from my childhood. I grew up 2 hours from Cleveland. Don't think I ever shopped there when little - mom had 5 children and the first 2 are only 11 months apart.....and that would've been a really difficult outing for her, as we had no grandparents alive when we were little.
    But I digress. The jingle, if my little girl memory is right:

    Mr. Jingeling, hear your jingeling, keeper of the keys....
    On Halle's second floor we'll be waiting for you to turn the keys....

    Not sure what that means or if it is right. LOL.
    But when I looked it up on youtube I just learned Mr. Jingeling was a children's show like Captain Kangaroo in Cleveland, so Halle's must've brought him in the children on the second floor?

    I will have to ask my cousins and older brother and sister. They may know.

    1. I still have my key from visiting Mr Jingeling at Halles!

    2. Oh, I feel like I've gotten to know "Mr. Jingeling" through researching Halle's, Michele! He is a rock star in the world of department store tearooms, I gather. (And now I feel special because I know someone who actually remembers the famous jingle!)

  3. It does sound delicious! I think that topping is what would put it over the edge of rich. Halle's was another one of my accounts years ago when I did credit collections for Catalina Swimwear.

    1. Marilyn, I think I would like to go back in time and be *you* during those years with Catalina! (And it just dawned on me, but I'll bet you got some killer swimsuits. Didn't they do the suits for the Miss America pageants?)

  4. That's an interestin, if excessive, recipe! I have never even heard of raspberry pie filling.

  5. Fun Angela! I have fond memories of shopping at Halles! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. That is wonderful, Frances! I'm so jealous when I hear of anyone who actually visited one of these stores in its heyday!

  6. Those look and sound delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I do love raspberries - and blueberries. I didn't know raspberry pie filling was available, yum!


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