Monday, March 11, 2013

This Weekend's Baking Adventures

This weekend was a busy one for me!  On Saturday I had a meeting of the Seattle Families of Multiples in which we discussed gardening and making our own baby food.  For some reason, this topic wasn't as popular as others (I've only been to two other meetings, one about baby wearing and the other about baby sign language).  There were only two other mothers there!

On Sunday, we had the reunion of our Swedish Preparing for Multiples class, and were required to bring a food item to share.  I knew I'd have some time to make something relatively simple on Saturday, so I scoured Pinterest for some recipes--specifically ones that used lemon, as I had a hankering to make something with lemon in it. 

I found the recipe for Vanilla Lemon Swirl Bars on the blog Lemons and Anchovies.  Looking through my cabinet, I found most of the ingredients I needed, save for the lemon curd and vanilla bean paste. 

Wait a second, vanilla bean paste?  What the heck is that? 






It's this!  It isn't actually a paste of vanilla beans, but more of a thick syrup that has thousands of vanilla beans in it!  I found my jar at Williams Sonoma for about $13.00.  I've already started scouring the internet to see if I can find more recipes that use this ingredient.  So far I've found a very promising looking recipe for frosting, and if you know me, you know I LOVE frosting. 

I could have been supermom, and made my own lemon curd, but I decided to take the easier route, knowing that the boys would only give me so much time on Saturday while their father mowed the lawn.  So, at my local grocery store, I found a jar of lemon curd.


The lemon curd ended up being a bit more gelled than I expected.  I thought the curd would be the consistency of thicker honey, instead of jam.  However, I measured out how much I needed, and put that amount into a bowl to stir it up to break up the gel-ness of it. 

So, how did the bars turn out?  Pretty damn good if I do say so myself. 


I may have overbaked them by a few minutes, as the color was a bit darker, but they tasted yummy!  I completely recommend this recipe!  Worth the trip to Williams Sonoma for the vanilla bean paste!

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