Six-year-old Jamie had fun helping his mom, Bonny, make this nifty snack. It was gobbled up in minutes by our panel of judges especially 3-year-old Danny, who devoured his own plus all the extras. These pouches can be prepared ahead of time and reheated, and are good served on their own, with a dipping sauce, or as an accompaniment to soup. When you're in a hurry, Anita McLeod suggests store bought puff pastry instead of the homemade dough.
Recipe winner:Anita McLeod Toronto, Ontario
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup margarine
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp melted butter, (for brushing baked pouches)
12 to 15 small broccoli florets, blanched and cooled
12 to 15 chunks cheddar, (cut the same size as the broccoli)
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender until crumbly. Let your little helper add the buttermilk. Stir with a fork only until the dough follows the fork around the bowl.
Gently gather the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly with fingertips 10 to 15 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to about ¼-in (.5 cm) thickness and with a sharp knife, cut into 3½-in (9 cm) squares. Leftover edges can be re-rolled. Let dough rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli by immersing it in boiling water for a minute or two. Drain, and when cool, have your young assistant place one broccoli floret and one cheese chunk in the middle of each square of dough. Bring the four corners together, twist to enclose filling, and pinch all edges of the dough tightly to seal. Your child will, no doubt, develop his own creative approach to this task. The more unusual the shape the better, according to Anita.
Place filled pouches in greased muffin tins and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter while still hot.
Other filling ideas: Cocktail franks, hot dog chunks, ham and cheese, cooked chicken, spinach and feta cheese, apple chunks rolled in sugar and cinnamon.
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