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?
Makes 2 – 3 dozen
- 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)
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Cream butter until soft. Gradually blend in cheese and pecans.
- Add flour in portions, working in well after each portion. You might have to blend with your hand to form a doughy ball.
- Form into logs about 2” in diameter. Roll in poppy seeds if you decide to get fancy. Wrap in waxed paper. Chill until firm.
- 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.
- 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.