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5 from 1 vote

Chess Squares

Chess Squares are an easy variation of Chess Pie, with a buttery shortbread crust and a sweet chess pie filling. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 16 squares
Calories: 320kcal
Author: Lucy Brewer



  • 1 stick unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and diced into chunks
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean


Crust Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, allowing the foil to hang over the sides, and lightly grease the foil.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and mix into flour. Work in butter. Press into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Filling Instructions

  • While shortbread is baking, make the filling. Add brown sugar to melted butter and whisk until smooth. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the brown sugar and whisk until smooth.

Putting It Together

  • Allow crust to cool for 10-15 minutes, then gently and slowly pour the filling over the warm shortbread crust. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until top is lightly browned and filling is not jiggly. Remove from oven and cool pan on a wire rack for one hour before removing foil. Then gently pull out the foil and slice the pie into squares.