These soft and chocolately Arrowroot Biscuit Squares are an easy no-bake treat that have delighted Canadian families for decades.
Earlier this year I surprised my dad and made a batch of these Arrowroot Biscuit Squares for our Father’s Day picnic. I hadn’t anticipated how nostalgic he would get about this family favourite that my grandmother and great-grandmother used to make him when he was little. Then I found out that on my mom’s side both her grandmother and her great-grandmother made them too.
In all likelihood the recipe came from a magazine or popular cookbook decades ago and was a big hit, which would explain how two families from different communities would have the exact same recipe. It reminds me a little of how Southern Living first shared their popular Hummingbird Cake in 1978 and it’s been their most requested recipe ever since. If something works out well it sticks around and gets passed on with each generation.
The only difference with these Arrowroot Biscuit Squares between the two sides of my family is that my mom’s side would ice them like brownies and my dad’s side would never do that, even though there is a little comment about it at the bottom of my paternal’s grandmother’s recipe card. I remember my mom making these for us as little kids too, but it wasn’t until I came across this recipe card from my grandparents’ kitchen that I remembered them.
The star of these squares are Mr. Christie’s Arrowroot Biscuits, a childhood classic here in Canada. I almost always have a box of these in the cupboard for Lucy as a quick treat on the go. The famous Mr. Christie started making a variety of cookies in the mid-1850s, going on to be one of the largest baking factories in Toronto and an important part of the city’s history. Mr. Christie even helped found the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in 1879 which we still go to every year. The recipe for these Arrowroot Biscuit Squares could have even come off the back of the box, not unlike how my family still uses the Chipits Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe every time.
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 30 arrowroot biscuits, broken up
- Line an 8"x8" baking pan with aluminium foil and grease.
- In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder and eggs. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring until the mixture has cooked and thickened.
- Add in the broken cookies and mix well to combine.
- Press mixture into the prepared baking pan.
- Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
- Add frosting if you'd like.
- Lift out of baking pan using the edge of the foil and cut into 25 squares.
Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with aluminium foil and grease.
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder and eggs. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring until the mixture has cooked and thickened.
Add in the broken cookies and mix well to combine.
Press mixture into the prepared baking pan. Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
Lift out of baking pan using the edge of the foil and cut into 25 squares. Enjoy!