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Super Mario Week: Pound Your Way Into These Mystery Boxes

Question Cakes 03

What’s in the box? Gold? Power? The pinky finger of my precious princess? I’ll never know unless I collect and unlock them all. Some days, it feels like my life is nothing but weaving through mazes, gathering coins for her ransom and collecting boxes full of ransom notes and secret messages. I may never take my precious princess home again and settle into the quiet, deserving life of hard but simple plumbing work. My brother is right. I should’ve become an electrician.

I’ve learned how to make some mysterious boxes of my own. You can, too, with nothing more than a few simple ingredients hiding in your pantry.

Super Mario Mystery Boxes

1 cup room temperature butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons yellowish fruit extract (orange, lemon, mango, banana or other yellow fruit acceptable)
1 tsp yellow food coloring (optional)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black icing pen

Beat the butter and sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy. You’d think butter would be yellow enough for a questionable box, but you haven’t been through this baking level as many times as I have. Trust me when I say you’re going to need a lot of extra yellowing agents. For example, the four large eggs, two large egg yolks, and a teaspoon of yellow food coloring.

Throw all of those into the bowl. While you’re at it, add some yellowish flavor extract. Traditionalists like their pound cake to taste like vanilla. I prefer mine with a nice orange, because it lets me pretend I’m biting into the flesh of my enemies. Lemon, mango, or banana will also work fine.

Once all your liquids are in the bowl, keep beating them for another 2-3 minutes until you have the sort of sloppy mess that makes plumbers cry. Promise me you’ll never pour this down a drain. Not even if your mother’s life depends on it.

Firm the cake up by adding the salt and flour. Keep beating it until the flour is entirely integrated and the batter is smooth.

Depending on the size of your adventure, either lube up a large cake pan or a mini loaf pan. Whichever one you pick, fill it high.

Bake at 350F for 60 min (full sized pound cake) or 25 min (mini cake loaves). Test by inserting a toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go.

Free your pound cakes from their metal prison and let them cool on a wire rack. Once they’re cool to the touch, it’s time to shank them. Or, you know, trim away the excess until you have a nice, yellow cube.

Use your icing pen to decorate the outside of the cube with a question mark on each side. Don’t forget the rivets in the corners.

Distribute these at proper intervals around your home. Or, if you’re throwing a party, put them a few feet away from the booze, games, or whatever your friends use to level up.

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