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Savory Cheese Cookies

You will see no pancakes here today. No stacks of blueberry buttermilk griddle cakes dripping with maple syrup. No golden latkes dotted with sour cream or slathered in apple sauce. Not so much as a waffle. Crepes? Forget it.

Instead, I’m offering you little disks of fat in the form of  savory cheese cookies.

The biscuits above were made by — I kid you not — Elizabeth Baird. Herself. Yes, the food editor for Canadian Living, author of more books than I have digits and all-round culinary guru baked these. Let me be clear. This not a case where I baked a batch using her recipe. These very cookies emerged from her oven, mixed by her hands.

How’d I get so lucky? Truth be told, she didn’t make them specifically for me. Instead, she made them for a food event and guests were encouraged to take the leftovers home with them. I asked Elizabeth which items she made and when she told me, made a dash for what I now refer to as The Baird Biscuits.

On the drive home I wondered what I should do with them. Eat them? She’s a chef. She’d like that. Freeze them for a special occasion? Who would appreciate them enough to share with?  Shellac them and mount them on my office wall? In the end, I decided to simply photograph the precious three and spread my delight virtually.

In my haste, I didn’t get the recipe. But these taste a lot like the ones my mother-in-law makes — only with poppy seeds and without pecans. So, in case you don’t want pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, I’m pulling this recipe from the archives. I think Elizabeth would approve.

What did you indulge in on Shrove Tuesday? Classic pancakes or do you have another fat fetish?

Pecan Cheesies

Makes 2 – 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • generous pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 pound finely shredded old cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds (if you want to give them The Baird Effect)

Instructions

  1. Sift dry ingredients together.
  2. Cream butter until soft. Gradually blend in cheese and pecans.
  3. Add flour in portions, working in well after each portion. You might have to blend with your hand to form a doughy ball.
  4. Form into logs about 2” in diameter. Roll in poppy seeds if you decide to get fancy. Wrap in waxed paper. Chill until firm.
  5. Cut into 1/4″ slices and arrange slightly apart on a grease cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 400F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan at once and cool on wire rack.
  6. Store in covered tin with a lock. Give the combination only to those you can trust. Note: These cookies freeze well only if you can keep family members at bay.
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11 Responses to Savory Cheese Cookies

  1. Robin Smart February 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    I love these!!! I eat too many each time you make them. I would help you eat Elizabeth’s but I bet still love yours best. Here is some irony. This year I finally decided to subscribe to Canadian Living and the first page of the first magazine that arrived at my door announced Elizabeth Baird was retiring from the magazine. I just can’t get my timing together.
    Love,
    Robin

    • Charmian Christie February 17, 2010 at 11:25 am #

      @Robin Smart, shall I blame you for Elizabeth Baird’s retirement? You’ll love the magazine regardless of who the food editor is. Canadian Living does food very well and triple tests the recipes.

  2. Debbie February 17, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    We had pancakes and sausages for supper last night. They were delicious.

    This recipe looks very weird. A cheesy cookie? What do you eat them with? Is it a dessert? I don’t get it : }

    • Charmian Christie February 17, 2010 at 11:27 am #

      @Debbie, Don’t think of these as dessert cookies. Think of these as cheesy appetizers or something you’d nibble at a party. They’re like cheese and crackers all rolled into one.

  3. sheba February 17, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    wow..this sure sounds different….anything with cheese gets a thumbs up frm me!
    .-= sheba´s last blog ..Last Minute Kachori for ICC =-.

    • Charmian Christie February 17, 2010 at 11:29 am #

      @sheba, They are different but delicious. You just have to get your head around the fact they aren’t sweet. Think cheese and crackers without battling with a cheese platter or all that stacking.

  4. Dana McCauley February 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Good ole EB! She would definitely want you to eat them when they were fresh!

    We indulged in braised lamb shanks last night. Yummy!

  5. Debbie February 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Oh Charmian, when you describe them as cheese and crackers rolled into one, they sound great. Party nibblers. Yumm. I must try them.

    • Charmian Christie February 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

      @Debbie, I think you’d like them — just as long as you don’t set your taste buds for something sweet. Oh, talk about the old orange juice versus milk trick.

      • Stella December 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

        Have made these for years, I like them really spicy so I add more cayenne I also add sesame seeds

        • Charmian Christie December 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

          I would love them spicier but certain members of my family don’t like heat. Perhaps when I make a batch for my husband, I’ll up the cayenne. Thanks for the suggestion.

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