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New Year, New Blog

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Shall we dive right in?

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This is the first thing I baked in 2013. My husband got me a brand new Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas, and so I thought it only fair that the first thing I bake be for him. The original plan was to make Boston Cream Pie cupcakes, but I was missing the heavy cream for the ganache. The second thing on his list of requests was a pound cake. Easy enough! Not only did it let me get right to using the mixer, but I would also get to use my bundt cake pan for the first time ever! (Never mind the fact it was a wedding gift and we’ve been married three and a half years. Oops! But thank goodness I had one today.)

I turned to the trusty internet to find a recipe and settled on Mama’s Pound Cake, a Paula Deen recipe. Who am I to question the queen of butter when it comes to something as buttery as pound cake? I fired up my shiny red mixer and was immediately astounded by the ease with which it creamed the butter and shortening. My goodness. My Sunbeam was a fine mixer, but this Kitchen Aid is something else. I am in love.

I continued on with the cake, forgetting to add any sugar. I finished mixing it up and had a taste. I thought maybe it tasted so bland because I hadn’t added in the vanilla yet? No, Helen. No. It’s because you’re missing THREE CUPS OF SUGAR. Right.

I added in the sugar at the end, which didn’t make a difference as far as I could tell. (In terms of texture or density, I mean. It sure as hell made a difference in taste, going from floury and glue-y to proper cake in no time.)

I greased the bundt pan, floured up those crevices as best I could and poured it in, only getting a small amount in the hole in the middle. It was inevitable.

I baked it up alongside some lemon squares, and after about an hour and ten minutes it was ready. Or, as ready as I could tell considering it’s about twice as deep as a regular toothpick will reach. I always thought these cake testers were silly, but now I get it. Plus, you don’t need a million toothpicks. I’m sold.

I turned it out and was quite pleased that my flouring technique left only one small part unprotected. I cut it up and set it out for my dear husband to take to work the next morning, and….yup. He forgot it. Oh well. Day old bundt cake for his coworkers tomorrow!

I’ll keep the recipe. It’s a tasty, sweet, moist cake. Next time I’ll maybe do a lemon or orange glaze to spice it up a bit.

Also baked yesterday were these lemon squares for a coworker’s birthday.

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Now, she asked for lemon squares, but I was going to make her lemon brownies instead. Lemon brownies are far superior to lemon squares, plus they’re easier to make and I suck at making lemon squares. Something about the crust and the filling always confounds me. However, I was also out of one damn ingredient for the brownies, so I had no choice but to go with the squares. Good thing, though, because I think I made a breakthrough. I turned to the trusty Joy of Baking website for this recipe. Whipped up the crust in no time in my awesome mixer (all ingredients made it in this time) and cooked it up alongside the bundt cake. Made the custard, popped the whole thing back in the oven and promptly let it overcook because I thought I could hear the timer downstairs. No. You can’t. At all.

I was afraid I had overcooked it, but honestly, these were the best lemon bars I’ve ever made. Soft filling, quite lemony, and a not soggy crust. There’s still no place for lemon squares as long as lemon brownies can be made, but it’s nice to know I’ve overcome my incompetency.

This weekend? King Cakes!

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