9 February 2012

Lemon squares & birthday cake

I have come to an important conclusion.  When life gives you lemons, make lemon squares.  No more lemonade.  Lemonade out, lemon squares in.  Such a delightful dessert to enjoy.  Bite-sized lemony bliss.  Add a dusting of powdered sugar and you have gourmet-worthy fare at a fraction of the effort typically required.  Also, I have a hard time drinking lemonade in the winter.  It's just not a winter beverage.   

Today was uncharacteristically warm despite its February date.  We had an "adventure" in the great outdoors.  M found an empty snail shell, a rock and a couple leaves which we brought home in our "adventure bag".  (This adventure bag is a very highly sophisticated and rather elegant paper bag.)  The leaves were used in a crayon rub drawing and the shell and rock were washed with soap and now sit on the table waiting for a project.  Currently, I have too many ideas simmering and cannot afford to go off on a (yet another) tangent.  Also, having two young children is a death-sentence for free time.  My crafts and projects, by necessity, must either involve little hands, or be limited to late-night hours.  I'm sure it's not hard to guess which of the two I prefer...

J's birthday was this past weekend and we had a nice quiet party with the family.  I like low-key birthdays.  Less work for me.  Of course, that sentiment is probably based more on the fact that we just got over a miserable bout with the flu.  No matter.  The birthday was fun.  My favourite part was the cake.  To be more specific, the cake icing.  I would love to try and describe it, but I'm not sure my brain is running on all cylinders so I'll give you two words: marscapone cheese.  Amazing.  Mix it with a little milk and powdered sugar (and possibly a pour or two of lemon extract) and you have perfection.  Forget buttercream - too heavy and rich.  Creamy, light, elegant, whipped marscapone cheese...  

I don't have a picture of the whole finished cake.  I was a little preoccupied fielding sticky fingers away from the piece de resistance.  It was a simple design (read: no skill required) - just various-sized polka dots sprinkled around the top and sides.  

Anyhow.  My children are in bed and my eyelids are sliding lower and lower.  It's been a long day and I have no doubt that tomorrow will follow suit.  I bid you a sleepy goodnight.  

*Taken from Tanya at Desserts Easy & Quick who took it from Allrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

Lemon topping:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease two loaf pans or 9 x 13" baking pan.  Combine all ingredients for the crust in a large bowl and mix until they form a uniform dough.  Pat dough into prepared pan(s). Bake for about 15 minutes until slightly golden.

While crust is baking, whisk together all ingredients for the topping until frothy.  Pour mixture over hot crust.  Continue baking for another 20-25 mins or so until light golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.  Cut into bite-sized squares and dust lightly with powdered sugar.

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