Bake like Becca

December 3, 2009

In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, staff writer Dianna Marder learns all about how we create the baked goods consumed onstage during Rabbit Hole.

Exactly how much are the actors eating? Courtney Riggar, the Arden’s Production Manager, did the math:

44 cakes, 80 creme caramels, five zucchini breads, 160 beers and 40 gallons of milk.

Click here to read the whole article in the food section.

If you are in the baking mood yourself, here’s the recipe Grace Gonglewski uses for her lemon squares.

Ultimate Lemon Squares
Makes 24 squares

One 9x13x2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered parchment or foil

For cookie base:
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the lemon topping:
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons strained lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing

1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. For the base, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and continue beating a minute or two, until light. Lower the speed and beat in the flour.

3. Spread the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan, using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it. Bake the base about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and baked through.

4. While the base is baking, prepare the topping. Be careful not to overmix the topping or it will have a coarse-textured foam on the top when baked. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up. Whisk in the sugar, then the lemon juice and zest.

5. As soon as the base is baked, remove it from the oven and pour on the topping. Immediately return the pan to the oven and continue baking the squares for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is set and firm.

6. Cool on a rack until completely cooled.

7. To cut the cake, use the paper to transfer it to a cutting board; slide a long knife or spatula between the cake and the paper or foil, then pull it away. Trim the edges, use a ruler to mark, then cut the cake into 2-inch squares.

8. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. For up to several days, store the squares in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.

Per square: 196 calories, 2 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams sugar, 9 grams fat, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 13 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.

Happy Baking!

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