Growing up, my Mom would make these graham wafer squares with coconut in them. I was of the opinion that coconut didn't really belong in baking so I was never overly tempted to partake of the said squares.
But...lately with all of my attempts to better myself -- which sometimes comes in the form of me trying new things -- I started to have a small piece of these squares from time to time when my Mom had them out on the table for dessert. And with the way that everybody else in the family ranted and raved about them (Les and the girls whole-heartedly included!), my Mom has been starting to make them on a much more regular basis.
At one point I mentioned to my Mom that I might like the recipe so I could make them for my family at home. Her response was that it's nice to have some things that are just special at Grandma's house...and since that made sense to me, I just left it.
However...your secret is out, Mom! I was at my sister's house for lunch a few weeks ago and what did she serve for dessert? You guessed it -- the coconut squares!! So of course since she was able to get the secret recipe out of my Mom, I figured it was only fair that my sister share the recipe with me too. And because I know you're all going to ask for the recipe anyway, here it is. Turns out, it's in the Mennonite Treasury for those of you who own that recipe book.
Graham Wafer Squares
Bring to a boil:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
Take off heat and add:
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup crushed graham wafers
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional -- I don't use nuts)
1 cup cocunut
Line 9x13 inch pan with whole graham wafers, put filling on top, add another layer of wafers and cover with icing.
The icing recipe in the cookbook (called "Jeanie's Icing for Squares") is the following:
Cook together and then cool 2tbsp. flour and 1/2 cup milk.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Crisco
1/2 cup sugar
Beat together well, then add cooked mixture.
However -- for the icing...I didn't actually use the Jeanie's Icing recipe and here's why. Apparently my Mom seems to have pulled one over on us, because when my sister asked if she should use the Jeanie's Icing recipe, my Mom simply said "You can just use the recipe on the back of the icing sugar bag." Very sneaky, Mom. Very sneaky. The simple butter icing recipe that is indeed found on the back of icing sugar bags -- while still very tasty -- is definitely NOT the same icing recipe that dear Mom uses on her delightful squares. I don't know if she does actually make the Jeanie's Icing or if she does another kind of icing altogether. I suppose this is her way of keeping at least part of this highly sought-after dessert as a Grandma's-house-only treat. :)
**Just as another note of possible interest: Les is always of the opinion that more is better when it comes to dessert. So the 2nd time I made a batch of these bad-boys, he had requested that I double the filling. So I did. Ohhhh....words can not even express how good (and how very, very bad) that decision was.**