We don’t need no sticking biscuit cutter!

I was making roasted tomato and herb soup earlier in the week from a great cookbook, The Big Book of Soups and Stews.  Paul loves grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, and this soup is extraordinarily easy to make.  But I digress.

As I was flipping through the book, my eye caught the lovely, heart warming word ~ PESTO.  Now I don’t know about you, but there is nothing wrong with pesto.  It’s kinda like bacon for me, it’s just good in every way.  So I stopped flipping and started reading.

Seven ingredients, seven steps… this is my kinda recipe!  However, as I read I noticed that they used these foreign words like “pastry blender” and “knead”.  The only time I ever kneaded anything was centuries ago during my ridiculously sad attempt at making a pie crust.  Picture flour all over the place, dough bits stuck to a rolling pin, and a very over worked pie dough (poor thing had been beaten up).

But I was inspired by the drizzly, cloudy, cozy weather this morning so I mustered up all the courage I had.  Funny thing is there’s actually nothing to it.  I really liked that this recipe tells you specifically how many times to knead it, therefore you can’t over work it.

What I found to be even more comical was the fact that I actually own a pastry blender (thanks mom), but do not have a biscuit cutter.  Oops.  I didn’t want to shape the biscuits into little circles because the dough would soften too much from the heat of my hands.  So I racked my brain for an alternative, searching the kitchen for anything that would work.  I was almost desperate enough to open a can of beans, drain it, and use that.  But being the slightly ingenious person I am (that’s right, I’m a cocky baker!), I noticed a glass in my cupboard just the right size.  I dunked it in flour and timidly gave it a try.  Worked like a charm!

The glass was actually a bit smaller than called for, but the size would actually be perfect as a compliment to a soup or stew.  If you want to serve it as a dinner roll, I would make them a bit larger.

To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by these biscuits.  The recipe was incredibly easy, but they were just okay.  When I think pesto I think strong, delicious flavors.    But I couldn’t taste the pesto very much.  However, if you serve them hot with a little butter melting on top, they’d be crazy good!  Give them a try and see what you think.

Pesto Biscuits (care of The Big Book of Soups and Stews)

Pesto Biscuits

INGREDIENTS:  2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 salt, 1/3 cup shortening, 1/4 cup basil pesto, 3/4 cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.  With 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut shortening and pesto into dry ingredients until crumbs form.  Add buttermilk all at once.  Stir with a fork just until dough leaves side of bowl and forms a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 to 12 times.  Roll or pat dough 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.  Place one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

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