Baking with B: Amy’s Classic Lemon Squares

As we get older falling out of touch with old friends is a fact of life. Let’s face it: stuff happens. When we’re burdened with responsibilities we tend to pare life down to its essentials and sometimes it means losing contact with someone who was dear to us. Add in some misunderstandings and well, like I said…s#%! happens.

In my life, Amy is one of those people and once upon a time she asked me to make lemon squares for my blog because they’re her favorite. Luckily, a mutual friend of ours had a recipe that was tried, tested and true. We made some for her over the holidays and they were so good I thought I would share them with you as well. They’re super lemony without being too tart, and the buttery crust is surprisingly easy to make.

So cheers to you, Ameballs. We hope you liked your squares.

Amy’s Classic Lemon Squares (makes 36)

For the crust:

2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c., plus 2 tbsp butter, chilled and cubed

For Filling:

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp lemon zest

3/4 c. lemon juice

1/4 c. cream

powdered sugar (for dusting)

To make the crust, preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake 18-20 minutes until the edges are golden.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling: combine eggs, granulated sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and cream in a bowl. Remove crust from oven and pour filling over the top. Return to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes more or until the center is set.

B’s Tip: Test if your lemon curd is set by giving it a little bit of a wiggle, wiggle. If it’s wobbly like Jello, it’s not quite ready.

Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator (or make them ahead of time and put them in the freezer!)

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

This is one of those recipes that I would call a “classic”- one of those down-home, feel-good dishes that everyone should learn how to make! Find more timeless recipes like this click here.

Baking with B: Classic Pecan Pie

I have this theory that we date the same people over and over again. Some attribute this phenomenon to a psychological need to look for partners that emulate our parents, but I’m convinced that there are also certain things that attract us to certain people, and make us attractive to others in turn. For example, I inexplicably keep on finding these guys who list pecan pie at the top of their favorite desserts and it is for this reason that I have made this pie more than any other. Go figure.

Classic Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 c. brown or white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 c. light corn syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c. pecans, broken in pieces

Set the oven at 450F. Line a 9″ pie pan with your preferred kind of pastry (I have a recipe on how to make a traditional pie crust here; however, for this recipe I would recommend using something more like a pressed graham-cracker crust. You can make it yourself or find them pre-packaged at the grocery store.) Mix ingredients and pour into pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake 35 minutes longer. Chill. Serve with whipped cream and halved pecans for garnish. (Because yum.)

Happy baking!

B

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Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Ryan’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

KBB_baking_ice_cream_cakeI was all set on baking Ryan a cake for his birthday as a surprise after he confessed to me he hadn’t had birthday cake in years, and I quizzed everyone who would listen about their favorite kinds of cake so I would know what kind to bake.

Wouldn’t you know that two hours before he was due to arrive Ryan announced that his dream birthday cake would be an ice cream cake, and so I moved hell and high water to make up this ice cream cake recipe at record speed. Cookies and cream is his favorite flavor, and so that is what he got, although if it had been my birthday I would have requested chocolate chip cookie dough.

Not that I’m asking you to make a cake for my birthday or anything. Ahem.

Ryan’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake (serves 8)

I’m not sure how they make real ice cream cakes out in real ice cream cake land, but I made the ice cream layer myself by scooping the softened ice cream into a disposable aluminum pan, smoothing it out with the back of my scoop, and letting it harden while I baked the cake layers. I normally don’t cook with disposable pans, but this step ensured all of my layers were the same size, and allowed me to pop out the ice cream layer without much fuss.

To make the cake:

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened

generous 3/4 c. sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch layer cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until the mixture is smooth, then stir in the milk.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth level. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Construct your cake by popping out ice cream layer from its pan and sandwiching between the two layers. You may want to secure the layers by spreading a thin layer of icing on the cake layers before sandwiching. Top with your favorite frosting and freeze immediately. Let stand a few minutes before serving in order to cut the cake more easily.

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I don’t always like to endorse particular brands or products on the blog, but I do like promoting small businesses and I swear without the pint of cookies and cream ice cream from Ed’s Real Scoop my cake wouldn’t have gone over half as well! If you’re in the Toronto area, please do check them out. They currently have two great locations in the Leslieville and Beaches neighborhoods. I’m hard pressed to choose a favorite, but if you really twisted my arm I would recommend the Raspberry White Chocolate. You haven’t tasted anything like it.

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.