This recipe was inspired by an article Sweetness and Light in Presidential Cookies which says Vienna Squares were one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite cookies. I’m not sure how true that is, but when I make Vienna Squares I always think of them as President Reagan’s favorite. In reality they were probably one of the White House chef’s favorite. Here’s a newly updated photo. I made this batch with chopped almonds, and advise against it. Pecans or walnuts are much better.
This is a full batch version made in a 10×15 inch pan. If you’d like to make a smaller batch, here’s a link to a half batch version (Vienna Bars) which is just slightly different.
Ronald Reagan’s Vienna Squares
Along with jellybeans, Ronald Reagan supposedly enjoyed these bar cookies.
- 1 cup butter, salted (230 grams)
- 1/2 cups sugar (100 grams)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups flour (320 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt increase to 3/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter
Filling and Topping
- 1 10 oz jar raspberry preserves, preferably seedless
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
- 2 cups finely chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15×10 inch jellyroll pan (or line with foil and grease foil if you prefer).
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until creamy. Add 2 egg yolks and the salt. By hand or using lowest speed of mixer, stir in the flour to make a soft dough.
- Pat dough flat in pan. Bake 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and spread raspberry preserves across baked cookie crust. Top with chocolate chips.
- With an electric mixer, Beat egg whites until whites start to form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar. Fold in the nuts. Gently spread egg white mixture on top of jelly and chocolate chips and bake again about 25 minutes.
- Let cool completely, then cut into squares or bars.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
they’re all great recipes and definitely worth trying. I’m wondering – if I make them, will someone pay me a presidential salary?
Hey Anonymous Commenter!
Thanks for that suggestion. I completely forgot about Earth Balance shortening. I use their buttery sticks when I’m making vegan cookies, but I forgot that they made a non-hydrogenated shortening. I will pick some up at the store.
Can you find Earth Balance Natural Shortening? It’s non-hydrogenated!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
Lots of fun — I’m forwarding to my daughter, who’s an elementary school teacher.