DREAM BARS … ” rich, luscious topping on a shortbread-type base”

It’s not easy to come up with a sweet treat for Christmas day.  Not when you have so many favorite.  However, hands-down DREAM BARS speak Christmas to me.    It simply wouldn’t be Christmas with out these additive treats to  nibble on after Christmas dinner.

DREAM BARS is an old-fashioned recipe from a small Robin Hood cookbook.  I started baking from it more than 53 years ago.    Then it disappeared to the Land of  Forgotten Recipes.

I was in the Land of the Patisserie.   Gastron Lenôtre’s books became bed-side reading.    Pastries, flans, tarts,  Chou pastries, meringues, French custards, rich chocolate ganaches had me in their decadent clutches.

ROXY’S  BISTRO’s display case indulged with  crème brûlée,  Paris-Brest, St Honoré  cakes, chocolate mousse, apple charlottes,  petits fours glacés,  gâteaux laden with  custard and cream .

I’ve come full circle with my baking.  How rewarding to fill your home with the heady aroma of old-fashioned  baking… cookies, loaf cakes,  gingerbread, coffee cakes.  They are easy, they are quick to make and bake,  and they are so much better than anything that comes in a bag or box.



1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 1/2  tbsp icing sugar, 1/2 cup butter (or best quality hard margarine if your diet requires it)

In a large bowl mix together the flour and icing sugar.  Blend in the butter with your fingertips, or cut in until very fine mealy with a pastry blender.  Pat the mixture firmly into a greased 8 inch square pan.  Bake in a slow oven at 300F for 20 minutes.

While your base is baking making the topping:

2 large eggs room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 scant cup of all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 generous cup of coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup of cocoanut.

Beat the eggs well with a whisk  and add sugar.  Whisk again.

In a small bowl add flour, salt and baking powder and stir to blend.  Add this to your egg mixture and blend.  Now add the vanilla, nuts and cocoanut.

Spread this over the base and return to oven.  Bake in a slow oven (300F) for 30 to 35 minutes.

The topping is very soft when removed from the oven but becomes firm as it cools.  DO NOT TRY TO CUT OR REMOVE  from pan until cold.  Cut into squares or bars.  Drift a little icing sugar over the top.

This delicate square becomes an easy,  dessert if you serve it with a scoop of ice cream or a generous spoonful of whipped cream.  It’s as impressive and delicious as any complicated French dessert.  Bon Appetit!


8 thoughts on “DREAM BARS … ” rich, luscious topping on a shortbread-type base”

  1. My darling Meece,

    One of these days I’ll cook and knock someone’s socks off …thanks to you.

    I am here to tell all that I have experienced most of these dishes and they are always packed with flavour, delicate if need be, and ever so delicious.

    You are a little brat for even sending photos my way via your blog. I am now left drooling.



  2. Cleaned my kitchen,misplaced my robin hood booklet. Panic…..Then discovered my favorite dream squares….merci merci. Cooking in the oven at the moment……..Patricia

    • Patricia I can appreciate your panic. I would feel the same way. In fact as your comment arrived I was using the Robin Hood recipe for pastry to top chicken pot pie.
      Cheers Virginia

  3. I have been looking everywhere for my mothers’ recipe for Dream Bars!
    My mother is gone now and I needed the recipe for my granddaughter for her wedding shower. I looked up “old- fashioned” Dream Bars and that was the word I needed. Bless you for sharing it…..Margene

    • Margene I am so happy you found the recipe. I have been making these bars for more than fifty years, and they are still one of my most favorite treats. Virginia

  4. These look and sound deliciously delightful. I love classic recipes or those handed down from generation to generation. This has been a somewhat busier Christmas season, so I’ve gone with things we all like but that are easy to make: dark chocolate-peanut-raisin cluster, dark chocolate with smoked almonds and sea salt, and then molasses crinkles cookies, the latter probably the first cookie I ever baked. 🙂


    • Janet the chocolate peanut clusters sound divinely decadent!! I love recipes like this. Your molasses crinkles are a favorite of mine also. I rather adore the flavour of molasses.. Your home must be filled with the delicious aroma of Christmas baking. Cheers Virginia

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