arrowroot squares

arrowroot squares | movita beaucoup

Welcome to Crap I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You About, 7th Edition.

ebony-the-cat has been under the weather. We have to administer eye drops every 12 hours for the rest of her life. (Thus, our fun is now planned in increments of no more than 12 hours.) When I had to take ebony to the vet last week, 2.0 came home from work just to see her before her appointment. He wanted to tell her that he loves her and would feel bad if anything happened to her, and then he kissed her head. When I went for my MRI a couple of weeks ago, 2.0 did NOT stop by to check on me, say he loved me, or kiss me on my head. As he left for work that morning, he said I should let him know if they decided to keep me at the hospital indefinitely so he could bring me a change of underpants.

arrowroot squares | movita beaucoup

I’m heading to New York in December! Actually, I’m headed to Hoboken, but close enough. My brother asked me to join him there as he’s flying over from France for business. After we organized our trip, my brother emailed me the following message:

… have you heard of some show called Cake Boss? I guess some guy from that has a shop in Hoboken.

Have I heard of Cake Boss? Cripes. Try not hearing of Cake Boss. I guess in France they aren’t into motorized cake towers held together with plywood, Rice Krispies and fondant.

arrowroot squares | movita beaucoup

If you’re having a bad day or dating, read this: The Fart That (Almost) Altered My Destiny, by Anna Lind Thomas. You’ll feel better, promise. Also, I almost pooped my pants a few months ago. On a busy street. I’m still pretty rattled about it, so let’s leave it at that for now. (I trust you noted that this information has been filed under Crap I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You About.)

And finally, my sister sent this nice side by side comparison of her dog and a younger me:

luke and movita

Let’s talk about these squares. They are one of my most favourite treats. My mummy used to make them for me every Christmas, but now she makes them for 2.0. She brings them to the holiday table, puts them in front of him and says something like, “I made these just for you! Because they’re your favourite!”

She used to say that to me.

arrowroot squares | movita beaucoup

These squares are a sweet, decadent treat – best sliced small due to their richness. The base is chocolatey, and studded with walnuts and finely chopped Mr. Christie’s Arrowroot Biscuits – a classic here in Canada. I’m sure you can find something similar where you live – look for a thin, arrowroot biscuit. I don’t have a substitute for you because a) I live in Canada, and b) they’re called Arrowroot Squares for a reason. The chocolate base is topped with a very thin layer of melted chocolate – think of it as a sealant. That thin chocolate grouting is then slathered with vanilla icing, which is then topped with a generous Pollock-inspired drizzling of melted chocolate. The bite is relatively soft – not chewy or crisp – though the chocolate drizzle has a satisfying snap under the teeth. There’s no baking involved – only a little stovetop magic to prepare the base. These squares are best when chilled – in fact, don’t attempt slicing until they’ve been refrigerated for at least a couple of hours. Trust.

. . .

Arrowroot Squares

recipe: slightly adapted from a family recipe, with adjustments to the method and notes

print and make

Yields one 9×9 inch square baking pan.

For the base:

  • 30 Mr. Christie’s Arrowroot Biscuits*, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 ounces (1 1/2 baker’s squares) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

*if using another brand of arrowroot biscuits, scale them at about 6.9 ounces or 196 grams 

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk

For the topping:

  • 2 ounces (2 baker’s squares) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe. Measure out all of your ingredients. These squares require at least two hours of chilling before slicing – be sure you’ve allowed enough time. 

Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.

Begin by making the base. Combine the chopped arrowroot biscuits and walnuts in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, cook the eggs, cocoa, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt (stirring frequently) until very thick – a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and add to the cookies and nuts, stirring well to combine. Press into the bottom of your prepared baking pan.

Immediately (while the base is still warm) spread the 1.5 ounces of melted chocolate over the base – it will be a very thin coating. Allow to set as you prepare the icing.

To make the icing, cream the butter in a medium-sized bowl with a hand-held or stand mixer, until soft and light. Add 1 cup of the icing sugar, salt, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the milk, and mix until well blended (start at low speed and then increase to medium). Add the remaining cup of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk, and beat until creamy and smooth (again, start at low speed and then increase to medium).

Spread the icing evenly over the square base with a small offset spatula or pallet knife.

For the topping, melt the 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and drizzle with a small whisk over the icing layer.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before cutting into small squares. The longer the chill, the easier the slice.

Store in the refrigerator. These squares freeze well.

46 Responses to arrowroot squares

  1. mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry November 25, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Poor Ebony – sorry about her eye issues! Hopefully all that extra love from 2.0 will keep her from hating your guts for having to hold her down and administer eye drops every day. My cat is still ticked about us shoving liquid antibiotics into her face every 12 hours. She glares at me from the corner with creepy eyes (no doubt imagining my painful demise) pretty much all the time now. Sigh. Pet ownership is hard, wish I had some of these arrowroot cookies to comfort me…

    • movita beaucoup November 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      ebony has been remarkably good about her eye drops – though it’s a two person job. 2.0 grabs her and cradles her in his arms like a baby and I drop the drop. She protests with the occasional mew, but that’s about it. We’re seriously grateful, as we both know she could easily kill us in our sleep. That said, I’m a little worried about what will happen when 2.0 is travelling… kitty’s got claws!

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 25, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    OMG I nearly peed my pants a little when I saw the photos of the dog and you. Is it safe to say the word guffaw over this?

    …and 2.0 coming home for the cat but not for the MRI? That gets a tsk.

    However, those arrowroot squares would make me forget that you nearly pooped your pants.

  3. Liz November 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Thank you for the nice recipe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. Anonymous November 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    um, WHY have we never discussed these?!!! Also, we only have super lame versions of arrowroot biscuits…you would think NYC has everything but sadly nothing compares to that cute infant on the yellow box of Christie’s arrowroot cookies.

    • movita beaucoup November 29, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Actually, I feel like I should be discussing squares – of all sorts – all of the time. Viva la square!!

  5. Lan | morestomach November 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    pooping your pants is no joke, i feel you.

    enjoy your trip to hoboken!

    • movita beaucoup November 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      No. Pooping in your pants is no laughing matter. Unless you’re 2.0. He still thinks it was very funny…

  6. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) November 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Whoa, blast from the past—I remember those arrowroot cookies! I used to love them as a kid, but I haven’t even seen (let alone eaten) one in ages!

    Anyway, rest assured that you can indeed purchase those in the U.S., not just in Canada. Or at least you could purchase them in the U.S. at hippie health food co-ops, circa 1986.

    I want to eat those squares. (I mean I want to make them first, too, but really I’d prefer to skip right to the eating…)

    • movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      I could eat arrowroot biscuits all day! Even the ones leftover from 1986…

  7. Anke November 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    I learned how to make these in Greece, where they use a slightly different technique. Instead of pressing the cookie/chocolate/nut mix into a baking pan, the mix is glopped out onto a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil, then rolled & pressed into a log shape. It is then wrapped with more foil and chilled. After it has adequately cooled, it is sliced into rounds. I will definitely try your version because “Mosaic Chocolate” (how we know it as) is one of my daughters’ fave sweets too.
    In Greece, the cookies we used were called Petit Buerre and made by many different companies.

    • movita beaucoup November 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      This is easily the most informative comment EVER left on my blog! I feel like you might be too smart to be here. (I mean, have you ever even almost pooped your pants?) I doubt it. The Greek mosaic chocolate sounds very cool – I hadn’t thought about using the base in cookie form, but now I’m dying to try it. Think of the fun variations! Day. Made.

  8. Movita's sister November 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I would like to point out that my dog was making that face because he had an ice pack on his busted leg and was probably still hurting from those ill-advised injectables in his lips (I assume that’s what caused them to swell up spectacularly a few days earlier) and because he blamed me for all of the above, whereas that was just your face.

  9. shannon November 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    that’s probably my favorite photo (of the few i’ve seen) of you. ever. although i’ll say i think you’re much cuter than haddy’s dog.

    cripes: just saw the holiday movita stick figure about ginger 2013. it’s like i know it’s coming and i’m in full-on denial as i have no good ideas. YET.

    you know what we mostly use arrowroot biscuits for here in America? BABIES. not kidding, they’re a big hit with the kiddos here, i suppose because they’re delicious and also somewhat more healthy than chocolate and frosting.

    oh..wait. you took care of that. I never purchased arrowroot biscuits for the Wee, but now i have a reason/excuse to try them out. because we are SO making these at some point over the next month or so.

    • movita beaucoup November 29, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      I eat arrowroot biscuits all the time. Have since I was a kid. I like to have them in my cupboard to munch alongside tea. Should the company ever discontinue them? Visit me in prison, cuz stuff is gunna get nasty.

      I haven’t started my gingerbread house yet. I could be in trouble…

  10. Bonnie November 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    My kind of cooking! :)

  11. Choc Chip Uru November 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Hope you have a great holiday my friend!
    Just leave me your kitchen… with a stock of these delicious arrowroot squares – one of my favourite biscuits full of chocolate!

    Cheers
    CCU

  12. Juls November 26, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    I love your ‘Crap I’ve been meaning to tell you about’ posts. They make me giggle something nutty.

  13. Food,Photography & France November 26, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Delicious looking little cakes and great pics. Glad you avoided crapping your pants:)

    • movita beaucoup November 29, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      It was a close call. Lesson learned: always carry a spare tarp with you.

  14. themessybakerblog November 26, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    No kiss on the head? No I love you? I would highly consider hiding these bars from 2.0. Now, I’m gonna eventually need to hear more about how you almost defecated in the street. You can’t go teasing a gal like that and then leave her hanging. I’m all about a good poop story. These bars look delicious. I’ll take 2.0′s share.

    • movita beaucoup November 29, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      One day I tell you all about how I almost crapped my pants.

      And then you will kiss my head and tell me everything is gunna be okay…

  15. Leslie November 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Eh … Print and MAKE now … obviously because this is a no-bake recipe.
    Don’t do away with that Print and BAKE button altogether … I’m still trying …

    • movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      Must be some sort of technical glitch. Try pressing the button HARDER.

  16. Renee November 26, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    1) Speedy recovery to Ebony. It’s no fun when the fur babes are sick. I know.
    2). Have fun in New York! I need/must go there.
    3) Thanks for the link to the “fart cloud”. Seriously. Made my day!
    4) These squares! Lord have mercy.

    • movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Our constant nursing seems to be working – ebony is back to giving us all dirty looks…

  17. Amy November 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Oh no, poor Ebony :( Growing up, we had to give my dog eyedrops twice a day every day because she got some sort of diabetes. Expensive and annoying. I bet Nate would do the same as 2.0 in such a situation. hahahahaha, that fart story is amazing!
    Let me know if you make it into manhattan!!!! Maybe we can meet for hot chocolate and cookies :)
    I have no idea what arrowroot is, but these look mighty tasty.

    • movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Here’s an arrowroot equation for you:

      arrowroot = awesome

      Does that help at all?

  18. Nancy @ gottagetbaked November 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Yeah yeah, of course I echo everyone’s sentiment about “poor Ebony” but my main thought is, poor you! We had to give Abby eye drops for a few days because she had an eye infection. She usually hates us grooming her face so I thought my hand would be shredded after trying to give her eye drops but she took it like a champ. I’m a bit of a bastard like 2.0 – I definitely give more love and attention to Abby than to my hubs. Maybe making these squares will make it up to him a little…on second thought, he hates chocolate so the only person I’d be pleasing is me (again, I’m a bastard!). God I love arrowroot cookies. I haven’t had them in years. That must change. Have fun in Hoboken! And tell us more about almost crapping in the street!

    • movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      ebony’s nickname is Junkyard Dog. We were pretty worried that she’d kill us when we started administering eye drops. However, she’s been taking it all very well.

      You really are a bastard.

  19. natalie @ wee eats November 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    I admit, I read “arrowroot squares” but was more like “arrowroot squares???” … but yes. Now I need them.

    I also love all of your childhood pictures. ALL. OF. THEM. Such a happy young baby…

    Are you going to go to the Cake Boss shop?

    • movita beaucoup November 30, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      Yes, I’ll probably go to the Cake Boss shop. Mostly because I hear the non-towering baked goods are amazing. However, I’ve also heard that the lines are three hours long, so… if I get bored I’ll walk over to Dunkin’ Donuts instead.

  20. Monica November 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    I followed the recipe link from Pinterest because of my weakness for Arrowroot biscuits, I ended up giggling so hard at your writing & the uncanny photo comparison that I spilled my coffee.
    Thank you for the recipe, it allows me to justify having “baby biscuits” to my 4 year old niece, who tried to pilfer mine since “I don’t have any babies or kids that live with me”. She was fine once I shared them with her & now we’ll have to share this too, as I’m sure her Mom will looove me for it.

  21. spree December 1, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    If I were fool enough to date (which I wouldn’t be even if I were single) and/or having a bad day, Movita’d be my medicine. yeah and pretty sure them arrowroot squares too. (When the heck is your cookbook coming out Ms. Beaucoup?)

  22. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl December 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    First, these squares look amazing! Uber delicious.
    How are the eye drops going? Successful? We’ve had to put eyedrops into 2 cats over the years and it’s always a struggle. FiFi Bofinkles lived with it, but Brother Bear would rather anything take place than being held down and drops going into his eye, poor guy. Thankfully once we were able to get the eyedrops in, everything cleared up in a few weeks.. but what a battle to get it done!

  23. Ayesha (Miss Spicy Hat n' Sugar Socks) December 2, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    lovely recipe… !

  24. Emma December 3, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    I see all these comments saying these cookies are available FOR THE BABIES all around me, and I’m like, jiggawha homies? If so then how come I neva eva heard of them? I guess I’ll try looking in the “Imported Foods” section at the grocery store, or heavens forbid I drive 10 minutes to look for them in New Brunswick. Cause I’m curious. Babies know what’s up.

    • emma December 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      I HAVEN’T FOUND ANY YET.

      • Anonymous December 10, 2013 at 12:07 am #

        Have you tried the baby section? They’re teething biscuits & that’s usually where I find them, even here in the boonies.

        • emma December 10, 2013 at 7:34 am #

          I’ll look there next!

          • movita beaucoup December 10, 2013 at 8:46 am #

            I like that I no longer have to help you people out – my readers are now just helping each other…

  25. Willow @ Will Cook For Friends December 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    How did I miss this post?! So much to say. First, I love that you said “if you’re having a bad day OR are dating, read this” — because really, dating and having a bad day are pretty much the same thing. Also, I’m sorry to hear about Ebony, but more sorry to hear that 2.0 cares more about Ebony’s well being than yours. Also also, these squares sound awesome. I have never heard of nor seen anything called arrowroot squares here in the states, but I’ll be looking for them like a hawk from now on. If all else fails, internet!

    • Willow @ Will Cook For Friends December 16, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Also also also, I just read the fart article, and I have never laughed so hard while reading something in my life. I literally laughed so hard I couldn’t read through the tears. Thank you for sharing that. :)

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