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Most people are trying to make their baked goods lighter and fluffier. I have the opposite issue. I am trying to recreate a recipe my mother made years ago called "tobacco cakes." They're not made with tobacco, but with mincemeat.

Here's the problem: I remember these wonderful bar cookies as being very dense. What I am creating has the same flavor as hers but it is more cakelike.

Here's the recipe I'm using:

2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves

Cream
1 c butter
1 ½ c brown sugar

Add 1 c mincemeat and reserved dry ingredients.

Put into 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 mins.

I've tried taking out the baking soda and that made it a bit more dense, but it's still too cakey. What can I do to this recipe to make it more dense?

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The usual answer is "cook it less"

Certainly a (IMHO) good fudgy brownie and a (IMHO) horrid cakelike brownie can be made from the same recipe, with only the cooking time changing. While I have not made your mincemeat-based-bars, the same phenomenon presumably applies.

If you are faithfully following the cooking time your mother used, it's possible that the oven your mother used and oven you are using vary wildly in actual temperature at the same set temperature.

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