Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter an 8″ baking dish. I went with the extra precaution of lining it with parchment and buttering that, too. Now I doubled my recipe and plopped it in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish because the recipe got its math wrong and there is no way that an 8″ square pan leaves you with forty 1 1/2″ squares. It just ain’t so. I only ended up with twenty-four, and that’s in the bigger pan.
Anyway. Don’t fret about the math for now, and whisk together 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and set that aside for now.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1/3 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until they’re pale and fluffy, a couple minutes. I used half white and half brown sugar here because I ran out of molasses so I needed to boost the flavour a bit.
Separate out 4 egg whites and use the yolks for something else. I’m sure you could get away with tossing them into this mix, but it would make for a much denser cake. I might try it next time. Huck those into the mixer and beat to combine.
Grab yourself 1 cup molasses. I ran out of molasses halfway through and discovered that my Golden Syrup had corroded the tin it was in, so my only recourse was lily white corn syrup, which made my squares quite a bit more pale than they were supposed to be. Your squares will be much darker.
Anyway, pour that in as well and give it a stir until it’s all combined.
At this point, the Pie remarked that this was one of the grosser-looking things I had ever made, with maybe the exception of banana bread. He has no appreciation for the science of things. Then of course I added in the flour mixture and whipped that around and he was all like, “ooooh, it’s so pretty and smooth!” Figures.
Anyway, smooth that lovely pretty substance into your prepared pan and chuck it in the oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of it comes out clean. For the doubled recipe, this took about an hour.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then tip it out and cut it into as many squares as you like.
Grab a bowl and dump in about 1/2 cup icing sugar, and roll each square in that just before serving (if you do it in advance then the icing sugar will be absorbed into the square and it won’t look as pretty).
Then you eat them!