Posted by: kriscdub | January 31, 2010

You Taste Like Fish Biscuits

Dear Diary,

Still on this bloody island. The final season premieres in two days. Today I swallowed a bug and made fish biscuits.

Love,

Kristen

Since the moment I saw Sawyer conquer the bear feed machine and danced to the celebratory music, I knew that I had to bake fish biscuits. But a dish this exciting just can’t be made any old day, oh no, I’ve been holding out for the premiere (which is the day after Garrick’s birthday. Happy birthday Garrick!). I’ve searched the Interweb many a time for a proper fish biscuit recipe, but for some reason everyone seems to be using the same one, and that has tangerine and orange zest in it. Well, I don’t have a zester and I just can’t abide following everyone else, so I decided to figure it out for myself. With some help from my housemate Adam, who along with another housemate, Jamie, originally convinced me to start watching Lost, I made a stash of fish biscuits that would make Hurley proud (or haunted by shame). I knew that I needed a cookie that I could roll out, but which also could stand on its own without frosting. Shortbread seemed the perfect solution, since I adore it and I didn’t really need that pound of butter sitting in my fridge anyway.

In all the excitement, I forgot to take an ingredients shot, but there are only five of them anyway: butter, brown sugar, flour, salt, food coloring. You won’t even have to go begging to Sawyer for anything.

Cream together your butter and sugar. I let them go on medium-high speed for at least ten minutes. It’s a lot of butter.

Definitely stop to scrape down the sides once or twice while creaming the butter. Then add flour a bit at a time. The original recipe called for 3- 31/4 cups of flour, but I misread it and added 4 1/2 cups. This made for a very easy dough to roll out, but may have taken away a bit from the flavor, I’m not sure. In any case, also add a bit of salt and equal amounts of red and yellow food coloring. I used the gel kind, and somehow managed to get the color exactly where I wanted it on the first shot. Be sure to err on the side of less color, however, since it’s much easier to add more than to have to go back.

I don’t have a pastry sheet to roll dough out on. I’m jealous of the silicone one that my mom has from Pampered Chef, but for now I have to come up with something else. Well, the only space large enough for me to even roll something out in this house is the dining room table, so there’s a start, but I certainly don’t want to roll out dough directly on the tabletop. So here’s my trick: I use wax paper. But wax paper slides around, unless you stick it down. So that’s what I do. I pour a bit of water on the table…

spread it around with my hand…

and stick the wax paper to the table.

The trick is to not use so much water that it weakens the paper. After several rollings, it’ll eventually start to tear, but it works fine for my purposes. Make sure to put some water on the overlapping seam of the wax paper as well. Flour the surface and roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin. The original recipe called for the dough to be half an inch thick, but mine was about a quarter inch. Since the non-existence of a fish biscuit cookie cutter is, due to an obscene oversight, yet to be rectified, I drew myself a little stencil and cut out the fish biscuits by hand with a sharp paring knife.

Meanwhile, Adam carved “Dharma” into the dough, also with a paring knife.

We didn’t limit ourselves to just “Dharma” however, and you shouldn’t either! We also included character names (impress your friends with obscure names like Arzt and Frogurt!), our own names, the numbers, and so on. Here are some sample fish biscuit inscriptions to get you started: “Live together, die alone.” “Freckles,” and “WAAAAAAAAAAALT

Once your fish biscuits are suitably inscribed, place then in a 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, preferably an electric one powered by two giant hamsters running on a massive wheel in a secret underground cave. I generally went with 15, but they got a little browned, and shortbread is much better on the light side.

Let the cookies cool for a bit on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. They fall apart occasionally otherwise. Let them cool completely before consuming, since shortbread, like revenge, is best served cold. Now share your fish biscuit with someone you love.

See you in another life, brother.

Shortbread Fish Biscuits

Adapted from Allrecipes

2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

red and yellow gel food coloring

Cream together butter and sugar in an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Slowly add flour, then salt. Mix in food coloring until desired shade is achieved. Type the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 into your stand mixer when the alarm sounds. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/4″ thick. Cut out fish shapes using a sharp paring knife and carve “Dharma” into each fish. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

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