It's been one of those days. The air conditioner that conked out last week during 95-degree weather has now been fixed, hooray for that. And though we still have a lot ahead of us, things have started to calm down into a manageable disarray. The day is beautiful, a seasonable 82, with (also seasonable) high humidity, but a light breeze makes being outside very pleasant. My son is working on rebuilding the brick patio now that the uprooted tree has been pulled up and carted off, and I was happily working away in the kitchen making chicken pot pies and chocolate cake for our dinner (and to send home with my son). Then I heard a strange noise, and I knew that just couldn't be good. The grass cutters were here, cutting the front lawn. One of them hit a rock, and sent it flying into our front storm door, shattering it into a million pieces that rained down on the potted plants, porch swing, and brick surface of the front porch. Ugh.
I poured myself a glass of iced tea, eyeing the bourbon warily, then decided a squeeze of lemon would do instead, enjoying it while paging through Dorie Greenspan's recent tome, Around My French Table. A recipe on page 25 for Mustard Batons caught my eye. Hers called for full sheets of rolled out puff pastry and a 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard. I sized up the trimmed remains of the puff pastry I'd used to top the pot pies and decided to make my own mini version of her Batons. As she writes in her book, they are terrific! They also illustrate how it doesn't take a lot of ingredients to make something easy and delicious. Just ask my husband and son. I made four of these and by the time I got my camera, only two of them were left!
Dorie's recipe is below, but all I did was slather stone ground mustard onto a long strip of puff pastry, fold it in half, and made four equal, vertical slices. I transferred them to a piece of foil while preheating my toaster oven, brushed them with an egg wash (1 lightly beaten egg to which 1 tablespoon of cool water has been added), and sprinkled poppy seeds on top. Since mine were smaller, I baked them a minute or two less than she suggested, removing them when they'd turned golden brown.
I will definitely be making these again! I love that they can be made ahead of time, and frozen until ready to bake. I also think a sweet version would make great breakfast pastries sprinkled with a cinnamon and sugar mixture, or cinnamon, sugar, cocoa and chopped nuts, or even raspberry jam. Imagine the possibilities! Try these, you'll love 'em. And while you're at it, treat yourself to Dorie's book.
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