I baked cement

I got this new lotion that smells like the best, creamiest, sweetest lemon dessert you can imagine, and every time I use it, I want to eat my hands.

I don’t really want to eat my hands, so I started looking up lemon desserts, and what the hell?  They’re so complicated!  Or they require kitchen tools I do not have or kitchen skills I have not acquired.  So when I saw a baking mix for lemon bars at the store, I grabbed it.  It said it had real lemons in there somewhere and only needed a little butter, two eggs, and some water.  I make and enjoy lots of things out of boxed baking mixes – how could I go wrong?

I don’t know how I went wrong, although I have some suspicions. First, there’s the flour mix and the butter.  Melt the butter, combine it with the flour mix to make a crumbly dough.  It was super crumbly, like I’m not sure butter actually got to all of the flour mix.  Suspicion number one: maybe it needed a little more butter, and maybe I should have been smart enough to know by looking at what I had in the bowl.

Second, press the dough firmly into the bottom of a greased pan.  I did that, pretty darn firmly, maybe too firmly as an overreaction to the dry crumbliness of the dough.  Suspicion number two: pressed too firmly.

Third, bake the dough by itself for 12-14 minutes.  I know my oven bakes fast (runs hot?), so I typically pull anything I’m baking out before the time on the box/recipe.  I went for 11 minutes this time.  No idea here.  Suspicion number three: 11 minutes in my oven is still too long for this mix.

Fourth, pour the lemon/egg/water mix on top of the hot crust and bake for another 24-26 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.  I pulled it out of the oven around 22 minutes.  I don’t think I screwed anything up at this step.

Cool, then chill, then eat.  Eating is where I realized I have a problem.  The knife will not cut through the crust to the bottom of the pan.  It just won’t, and if I try any harder, I’ll cut up my pan.  If I really work at it, I can get a very light layer of crust to come up under the lemon topping, but that’s as far as I can go.

The result is that I’m eating chilled lemon topping.  That part is delicious, so it’s hitting the lemon dessert spot, but I’m not up for chiseling the crust out of that pan.  Once I’m done with the topping, I’ll have to see if I can dissolve it in the sink.  Otherwise I’ll have to throw out the pan.

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