A Valentine’s Day confession.
I admit it. I’m a Lost addict. I simply can’t get enough of this show and I’m not really sure why. All the exploding fiery plane bits were pretty exciting in the beginning and then I kept on watching…because who can deny the wonders of, oh well, being lost on a island in the middle of nowhere I guess. Ooh the mysteriousness of it all makes me tingly inside. This is love right?
Okay…honestly, this isn’t about me. It’s about FISH BISCUITS people!
Because we all know that fish biscuits have the power of love hidden inside. Like a strangely morphed scene from Like Water For Chocolate, I’ve been imagining those secret Dharma cooks laboring away over a hot oven mixing batches of biscuit dough and being sure to cry a few tears into the bowl. What else in the world could inspire two incredibly dirty and hot kids to get nekkid in a cage on camera?
As a little token of my love on this V-day I’ve made a special batch of Lost Fish Biscuit cookies! And while the recipe I used might say “flavored with citrus zest” I promise you…every bite tastes like strawberries.
I started plotting my cookie project many months ago, wondering what make for the best combination of recipe and coloring. Figuring out the correct size by comparing the layout of Sawyer’s mouth/hand/face biscuit munching action came in handy (thanks for actually taking a bite on camera dude).
Mixing up what I thought would be the first test batch of several it all turned out to perfectly. While it’s not hard to make your own cookie cutters (tutorial here), I decided to create a template on stock paper and cut them out by hand with a sharp knife. It didn’t take long considering they’re life size; each cookie is about eight inches in length, two inches wide, and almost a half inch thick. Since the cookies are so large you have to roll out the dough on your baking sheet or a silpat otherwise they’ll get distorted if you try to move them. One batch of dough will yield around five cookies and the lovely salmon color comes from one quarter bottle each of both red and yellow food coloring.
I made two paper templates one of which I used to cut out the cookie shape, the other I folded in half and used as a guide for the lettering. While looking at the top half of the template (which is laid on top of the raw cut out cookie dough) I used a small butter knife to press the bottom half of each letter. Then removing the template I finished the top of each letter. It’s not perfect but it still looked close to the real deal. A purist with money might simply buy a cake letterpress set like this one, but you can also download my fish biscuit template and have a go at it the freestyle way.
As a parting present here’s a little video recap of the moment Lost became a legend in my mind. Thanks for the fish biscuit dance Sawyer…and thanks Kate, for taking a bite of his already half eaten cookie.
For those Lost fanatics out there here’s a sound clip just begging to be turned into a ringtone.
photo by Look at My Photos
Here’s the great big Kung Foodie collection of gingerbread links!
I’ve spent a number of hours combing the web for the best house pattern links. This is an edited list of the ones I found to be the most unique and/or well documented. The King Arthur Flour website has probably the easiest and most detailed tutorial on building gingerbread houses. If you’re a beginner this is the best place to start.
- (Photo) Firquoet’s Gingerbread Star Wars Tie Fighter
…a new companion to the edible At-At Walker
(Photo) Rickynils’ Fractal Gingerbread Snowflakes
- (Photo) (Plan) 64bits’ Gingerbread PC Computer
- (Photo) (Plan) NASA Gingerbread Spacecraft
- (Photo) (Plan) (Recipe) Haunted Dimensions Paris Disneyland Mansion
- (Plans, see below) more Haunted Dimensions Homes
House 1, House 2, House 3, House 4
- (Photo) (Plan) (Recipe) Franky’s Attic Gingerbread Houses
…a collection of 32 different patterns total!
- (Photo) (Plans, see below) Bob Villa This Old House
Colonial, Saltbox, A-Frame, Side Gable
- (Plan) (Recipe) Gingerbread Lane
- (Photo) (Plan) (Recipe) Martha Stewart Gingerbread*
*recommended by Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
- Christie Currie – Gingerbread Houses
- Aaron Morgan & Paige Gilchrist – Making Great Gingerbread Houses: Delicious Designs
- Joanna Farrow – Gingerbread Houses, Animals & Decorations
- Veronika Gunter – Weekend Crafter: Making Gingerbread Houses
- Place aluminum foil or parchment under dough before rolling and cutting pieces. You can then easily move the foil/parchment to a baking pan without having to touch the dough. Just start with a fresh piece of foil for each batch.
- Roll your dough thin. Gingerbread will puff up a bit as a cooks. The thicker the pieces the harder it is to match edges, as well as keep your structure from falling apart due to weight.
- If your edges have curled while cooking you can quickly use a pizza cutter to trim them.
- Gingerbread fresh out of the oven is often still soft and can be molded into shape by placing on cans or other objects while cooling.
- If you feel safe making a batch of caramelized sugar glacee this holds much better than royal icing as a base mortar (although I wouldn’t recommend this if you have kids helping as it gets very hot and can easily cause burns).
- Make plenty of royal icing* ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than running out in the middle of mortaring a wall or frosting decorations.
- Ziploc baggies are great to use if you run out of disposable pastry bags while piping frosting. The mini sizes work perfectly if you just need a small amount of colored icing.
- Shuna at Eggbeater once showed me a great pastry bag trick during a cooking class she instructed. Just use a clothespin to pinch the cut end of the pastry bag shut if you need to stop in the middle of working. A small spring paperclip would also work (tho it’s not as cool).
* I prefer to use an eggless royal icing recipe which calls for meringue powder, which I get at my local baking supply shop. It’s possible that any store which carries Wilton products will have it as well.
It’s that time of year again people! Time for gum drop walkways, candy cane fences, and cinnamon graham shingles.
While my first effort with gingerbread house building last year didn’t go exactly as planned, it certainly was memorable and resulted in one extremely large edible dog house (finally consumed amongst a whirlwind orgy of ravenous New Year’s Eve partiers). The poor marshmallow poodles never knew what hit them.
In celebration of holiday sugar-highs I’ve decided to showcase a series of posts on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about creating your own gingerbread homes. From plans and patterns to decorating ideas, and maybe even a special gingerbread trick or two.