Palma Snarskis and Birute (Ruth) Kascukas were good friends for many years, and Palma baked these cranberry and walnut squares to bring to the gathering after Birute’s funeral in 2008. Birute died just days after her fiftieth wedding anniversary. We added the white chocolate chips for a little extra richness. These are simple to make and are good to serve when you want to add a little sweetness to life.
This recipe from the 1930s comes from Hilary Finkel Buxton, a friend from our days at WGBH, the public television station in Boston, and her sister, Sandy. Their grandma Celia Goldberg admitted to 101 before she died. She was beloved by her family, and they treasured the sometimes cryptic notes she bequeathed to them for her Honey Cake, Mandlebread, and Noodle Pudding. Grandma called her sister, Yetta, who lived to be 102, every day when they both lived in the Bronx.
We liked the Lemon Chess Pie recipe so much that we decided to experiment and make it as a Chocolate Chess Pie. We found that unlike the filling for the Lemon Chess Pie, this filling puffs up like a high hat because of the addition of the chocolate, but the surface retreats to a lovely fudgy density on standing as the filling condenses. This pie should be baked 5 minutes longer than the Lemon Chess Pie.