Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost Obsession: Fish Biscuits

So...I didn't end up making anything for Valentine's Day. In the end, I just didn't feel up to it. But never fear...I do plan on making both things I considered at some point. The first thing I thought about making was a red velvet cheesecake, but discarded it being as I didn't feel like leaving the house to get cream cheese, sour cream, etc. Then I thought of Mexican chocolate cupcakes filled with homemade caramel and then topped with a boiled frosting...but like I said, I lost motivation, ha ha! But I still would love to try both of those, so I'll keep them on my To Try list and eventually I'll get around to them.

Anyway, if you don't watch Lost, you're probably wondering what the heck a fish biscuit is...and it probably doesn't sound too appetizing either! Well, here is the ultimate display of how obsessed I am with Lost. In season 3, one of the characters, Sawyer (played by the gorgeous Josh Holloway...certainly an incentive to watch!) is captured by a group dubbed "The Others" and is put in a cage for keeping. In this cage is a contraption, and if you're able to figure it out, it rewards you with a fish biscuit! As I was rewatching this episode, I had the craziest urge to try and make some. So I went on Google and lo and behold, I found this blog that had a recipe, instructions, and she even included a template for the fish biscuits! Awesome! Glad to know I'm not the only one with this Lost-obsessive idea! Of course, the "biscuits" are actually just a rolled sugar cookie recipe, so there's nothing fishy about this recipe except for the shape. If you aren't a fan of Lost, you should become one, as it's an excellent show. Hulu is streaming every single episode of Lost through December 31 this year, so even though the last season is now airing on ABC, it's never too late to become a fan! Or, of course, if you're not interested in becoming a fan (I'll just pretend like I didn't hear that), this is still a great dough for any shape you want it to be.

Rolled Sugar Cookies for Fish Biscuits (adapted from Epicurious)
Makes about 5-7 large fish biscuits

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used bleached, since that's what I had)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons grated lemon peel (I omitted)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon grated tangerine or orange peel (I omitted this as well)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla butter & nut extract
  • couple drops red food coloring
  • couple drops yellow food coloring
** This sugar cookie recipe can pretty much be flavored with whatever you like. The original recipe on Epicurious used citrus zest, but I used McCormick's vanilla butter & nut extract, the same I used for the yellow cupcake recipe. You can easily substitute any extract you like, such as vanilla or almond, etc., to taste.

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, grated lemon peel, and grated tangerine/orange peel until light (since I didn't use zest, I just beat the butter by itself. Don't add any extracts yet.) Add the sugar and powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg and extract. Add food coloring a little bit at a time, working until you have a nice, rich salmon color. Keep in mind that the color will fade slightly when baked.
  3. Add dry ingredients a little bit at a time until fully incorporated. Divide dough in half and wrap the dough in plastic wrap, forming two disks. Store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight until set.
This is the color you're looking for.
Making the fish biscuits:
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Generously flour your work surface and rolling pin. (I rolled out my dough on a piece of parchment paper which I also floured. I found that this really worked best.) Place one disk of dough on the floured surface, and flour the top. Roll out dough to about half an inch in thickness. Place fish biscuit template on the dough and cut around the template using a sharp, floured knife.
  3. Continue rolling and cutting dough, making sure to keep leftover dough scraps for additional cookies and placing the cut out fish biscuits on your prepared cookie sheet. Depending on your estimated thickness, you should get about 5-7 fish biscuits. (I got 7, but the original blogger said 4-5...I guess I wasn't making mine as thick as hers!)
  4. Once all fish biscuits have been cut out, fold the template in half and place on fish biscuit. Using a small rounded butter knife (I actually found that a toothpick works best!!), gently press in the top or bottom half of the Dharma logo letters. (Do whichever side you're more comfortable with. The original blogger pressed in the bottom half of the letters first, but I found it easier to press in the top half of the letters first.)
  5. Remove the template and then press in the other half of the letters. Continue doing this for each fish biscuit. (The name DHARMA comes from a group called the DHARMA Initiative who were scientists who came to study the island and who were supplied with food with their logo on it...for more info on them, you can click here.)
  6. Bake the fish biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes until they no longer give when pressed. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature and watch your favorite Lost episode as you enjoy! For the fish biscuit template and printable recipe and directions, please visit the original blogger's file here. (Must be able to see pdf files.)

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