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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chicken Pie with Biscuit Crust and Sesame Honey Lace Cookies

Location: Work

Mission: make cookies and come up with a plan for dinner

We're coming off a big weekend at work--Mrs. S. celebrated her birthday and so the whole family (minus grandkids and greatgrands) were in the house. Only one son was still around yesterday, so I had a bit of a breather to do one of my favorite things (bake) and use up some stuff that was kicking around in the fridge. I had a big pot of homemade chicken stock that I needed to skim, and the chicken bones/meat that I used to make it, so I suggested to the family a Chicken Pie with a Biscuit crust. Green light.

But before I got to that, I spent the afternoon wrestling with the Sesame Honey Lace Cookies.

Now usually when I bake I have a pretty good feel for what I can get away with, and in this case when I read the directions (line two baking sheets with parchment paper) I figured I could get away with wax paper. The dough is pretty simple--boil conf. sugar with honey and water and butter, mix in flour and sesame seeds, cool. Roll into little tiny balls, bake.

The problem: the cookies wouldn't peel off the wax paper. Vexing, especially since I did two sheets, one third the dough.

So I buttered the wax paper (one pan only this time), congratulated myself for being clever, and tried again. Still sticky!! This didn't stop me from eating them, by the way. Isn't wax paper technically fiber? And they're really good, even with wax paper backing. REALLY good, a nice toasty flavor that's completely addictive.

So I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to salvage some, any of these, and ended up throwing it all away (except the remaining dough)--nothing to show for the work. At home I have a silicon baking sheet, which I'll bring to work today--I know that will work. And I might have parchment paper too. What a pain.

Because I was fiddling around with the cookies, I left myself the minimum amount of time to cook the chicken pie. Now, I really love to cook, and although I can hustle I prefer to work at a more appreciative pace.

Hustle time.

Fast chopping, focused work. This is where I'm thankful for my experience--I know how to multi-task and where I can take a short cut or two. (for example, you certainly will not find me rubbing butter and shortening into the flour with my fingertips, you will find me dumping it all in the food processor).

I was pleased with the presentation (pretty little oval biscuits browned on top of a bubbling pie) and if I were to go back and do it again, I would have used some wine in place of some of the stock (we certainly had many open bottles tucked away after the party), and I would have used that nice hunk of cheddar in the biscuits instead of the remnants of the deli cheddar I used at lunch. But it certainly was a homey, comforting dish, and the portions I plated got eaten up. I think my husband and son would like it too, so I might try this one again at home sometime.

One question I had with the recipe itself--we're directed to "arrange rounds on top of filling, then brush tops of rounds with egg wash and prick all over with a fork." Now usually if you're pricking something with a fork its a pie crust if you're blind baking it, to keep it from bubbling up. But these are biscuits, and there's space between them. I didn't see the point, but I pricked anyway, just for the heck of it. It didn't make any difference.


Eve said...

that pie sounds mighty good. are there any leftovers kicking around? I might have to stop by and steal some.

Melissa said...

There are! Right in the cold room on the windowsill. Also check out the cappuccino brownies in the CR fridge--brownies layered with cream cheese frosting and chocolate ganache. Really really good.