Arsip Tag: biscuits
There are biscuits and there are biscuits. There are biscuits that you serve with chili, with barbecue or alongside some eggs and grits. And there are biscuits that you bring out in a warmed basket with a cloth napkin draped over them at a dinner party, to sop up a braise or slather with honey-butter. These biscuits are of the latter variety but I suspect they will quickly become your one and only biscuit because if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder where they’ve been your whole life.
Because they’re so easy, it might feel like you are cheating: Five ingredients. A sifter, a mixing bowl and a puddle of melted butter. (That’s so going to be my first album title, I’ve decided.) Three minutes to assemble and twelve minutes to bake. And they remain the richest, lightest biscuits I’ve ever had, with serious plushness within and the faintest crunch at the edges, which sound as you tear one open as if you’d broken a cookie in half but then turned the volume on that sound way down. Or, uh, a very faint crunch.
And here’s the thing with biscuits (and scones, for that matter) — they’re the best when you’ve first baked them. Sure, I tried a stale one 24 hours later (for research, people, of course) and it wasn’t so bad but I chalk that up to them being extra-awesome from the get-go. But you don’t need to make them at the 11th hour, biscuits freeze excellently unbaked. Go ahead and make them whenever you have time, flash freeze them and store them in a freezer bag for a later day or freeze them right on your buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet so they’re ready to go when you are. You can bake them still frozen, they’ll just need an extra few minutes in the oven. And then you never have an excuse not to have freshly baked biscuits on the ready. You know, unless you ate them all without sharing, stashing them in your cheeks or something.
Biscuits and scones, an apparent obsession of mine, previously: Buttermilk Chive Biscuits (the perfect chili/barbecue/breakfast-variety biscuit, plus or minus the chives), Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones, Dreamy Cream Scones (like this, plus butter, sugar and dried fruit), Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones, Rhubarb Cobbler and Strawberry Shortcakes
Ever had a muffin, scone or biscuit that tasted tinny? The cure is so easy!
One year ago: Spelt Everything Crackers
Two years ago: Latkes
Three years ago: German Pancakes and Winter Panzanella
Adapted from James Beard’s American Cookery
The original recipe has you brush your baking sheet with melted butter (and increases the amount by two tablespoons) but for whatever reason, the butter not covered by biscuits just got smoky in my oven so I’m voting for you to just line your sheets with parchment. If you find dipping the biscuits in butter difficult (hard to grasp if the dough is soft), just brush them generously instead.
Made about 10 biscuits, perhaps a dozen if I had been stricter about the height and scrap-usage
3 tablespoons (45 grams) melted butter
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar (optional)
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little. (I ended up using two additional tablespoons, or half the unused cream.)
Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip the top of each round in melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze for future use. [Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.]
On Monday, I went foraging. Well, urban foraging, that is, at the Greenmarket. I set out to find these mythical local provisions that many of you have assured me now exist in New York City, things like ramps and aspargus and even strawberries and I’m now convinced that someone is playing a mighty joke on me.*
But no matter, I found freshly grown scallions and maybe they don’t have the pearly pink skin of fresh rhubarb or the mysterious promise of morels, they might be waved off by fancier people than me as a ubiquitous circa-1970s garnish, but they make me happy. Part herb and part baby onion, recently from the ground they’re amplified, with more green freshness and more bite. I like ’em raw, I like ’em cooked, I like them instead of chives (which, amusingly, I found but they looked terrible; foiled again!) as a garnish and I like them especially in my biscuits.
Yes, biscuits again. No, I do not believe that a single website can have too many biscuit recipes. There are sweet biscuits and savory biscuits, rolled and cut biscuits, patted down and wedged biscuits and dropped from a giant tablespoon biscuits and I have room in my larder for all of them and now even one more: blue cheese drop biscuits.
Because I’d started with a cheddar biscuit recipe, I had all sorts of doubts about this blue cheese whim of mine — Does blue cheese bake well? Will it just melt and trickle away? Will it taste a little funny? I had so many doubts that I halved the recipe, which as you all know, is the beginning of almost every sad kitchen tale. Guaranteed, any time I halve a recipe I will live to regret it. And right now, with the smell of baked and browned cheesy heaven and fresh green onions softened in a broiling oven bouncing off my apartment walls and me making a face like the baby when he spies something delicious coming towards him, I know I’ve made a terrible mistake. Don’t do what I did; make the whole batch; then scramble up an egg, crisp up some bacon and have breakfast for dinner tonight.
One year ago: Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes and Sausages
Two years ago: Almond Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Three years ago: Black Bean Confetti Salad
Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet
These are everything a good drop biscuit should be; super speedy to make (one bowl!), with a golden craggy crust and soft interior. I (only) made a couple changes to this. Based on responses on the original recipe, I added an additional scallion and because I completely missed the ingredient when I read the recipe, I didn’t add the baking soda. And they were still fluffy and delicious. But I bet they’d even be more so with it.
If you’re blue cheese-averse, you can make this with an equal volume of coarsely grated cheddar.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick or 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or, you can make your own)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in blue cheese and scallions. Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.
Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet, or one lined with parchment paper. Bake in middle of oven until golden, 16 to 20 minutes.
Do ahead: Biscuits are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, drop them onto your baking sheet, freeze them until they are firm, and place them in a freezer bag or container until you’re ready to bake them. They can be baked while still frozen (straight from the freezer), you’ll just want to add a few minutes to the baking time.
Abruptly, and likely surprising nobody more than my husband, I have decided to be a Good Football Wife this year. Finding it impossible to summon any actual enthusiasm for the game but refusing to fulfill the sitcom wife-cliché of grumbling about my husband’s Sunday afternoon routines, in the past, I’ve mostly tolerated it. But with months of cold and/or wet Sundays ahead of us, I finally came to the realization that football season is the perfect excuse to embrace some much-needed Lazy Sundays. A morning bagel, park and farmers market run routine segues nicely into an afternoon of bumming around, or you know, however the person at hand defines it. For Alex, football, with the requisite pre- and post-game Sports Shouting episodes. For Jacob, removing books from the bookcases one by one, then attempting to stand on them to reach higher shelves, so he can remove them too. He naps, we replace the books, he wakes up and starts again. Ah, Sundays.
I made a giant pot of beef chili that I found from an old (like, 20 years!) Gourmet magazine, which, like almost all Gourmet recipes I run across, makes me sniffle and miss the magazine (in its original incarnation, that is, I haven’t made sense of this app thing yet) even more. Here, they gathered all of the things you’d normally dollop on top of a bowl of chili — cheddar, sour cream and pickled jalapeños — and formed them into a biscuit, which they use to serve the chili shortcake-style. I bet you didn’t know chili could be so cute! I just want to stand up and applaud their creativity but instead I’m very sad, because I’ve been bereft of fresh batches of it for nearly a year. I did not cry into this chili, however, because it was awesome, so awesome that the member of our family who a) does not know how to use a spoon, b) wants to eat what you’re eating but c) refuses to be fed from a spoon actually honored us with the privilege of letting us feed him. And tucked away a frightening amount of chili. The chili is that tremendous.
One last thing: If you are from Texas, I want you to promise to take a deep breath before reading the recipe. I know that chili con carne is the official dish of Texas and I know how seriously Texans take their chili con carne and their feelings about things named chili that contain things like kidney beans, bell peppers, carrots, oregano, vinegar and if that hasn’t blown your top yet, tomato sauce too — see also: Epicurious comments such as “No TEXAN would ever call this chili!” and “This recipe is blasphemous!” Then again, if you are from Texas you’ve likely got a recipe you were making since you were old enough to stand at a stove and don’t need my Chili Con Carne Not Sanctioned By Texans or Those With Texas Allegiances anyway. But still, I want us all to get along, even those of us who (shh) might like it all blasphemized better.
One year ago: Date Spice Loaf
Two years ago: Black and White Cookies and Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella
Three years ago: Cream Cheese Noodle Kugel and Spaghetti with Chorizo and Almonds
Four years ago: Outrageous Brownies and White Batter Bread
A not-so-new sideblog about feeding babies: I have this terrible habit of launching side projects and, um, not telling people — like the six weeks I was blogging at Epicurious or the side blog entirely devoted to cooking Tips. Last spring, I started sporadically posting some baby food recipes, such as applesauce, peach sauce with nutmeg, a vanilla bean pear sauce and a mango-banana sauce. There have also been first carrots, spinach and white yams, Morroccan-ish carrots and yams and now, we are elbows (and eyebrows, really) deep in finger foods. I want to keep expectations real low; I’m still a one-woman operation, this site and that little cookbook I’m writing are my top priorities right now but obviously, with a one year old underfoot, a tremendous amount of energy is going into figuring out how to interrupt his steady diet of carpet lint + whatever he found on the ground at the park with some occasionally wholesome foods. I’ll be talking about that over here.
Beef Chili with Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet
A couple notes: First, if you like a saucier chili, you might reduce the beef by one pound, though this might reduce your serving size. [Updated to add:] You could also add a second can of beans, as some commenters have suggested. Second, I didn’t get the rise out of these biscuits that I’d expected to. Since they were delicious and other commenters have raved about them, I assumed it was me and didn’t bother tinkering with them. Finally, the original recipe says that it serves six but I think it stretches further, especially if you’re doing this shortcake-style, with just a ladleful on top. I’d suggest scaling the biscuit portion to the number of guests you’re having. If you make more than you need, I recommend freezing the extras unbaked until you’re ready to serve the chili again — you can bake them directly from the freezer, and they’ll always be fresh and crisp. [Updated a few years later to add:] I mention this in the previous note, but not as clearly as I should have: this makes a lot of chili but not that many biscuits. The proportions, especially if you want to serve this on biscuits, are off. I’d double or triple the biscuit recipe if serving the full batch of chili. Enjoy!
Serves [more than] 6
2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, sliced thin (suggested by Gourmet) or in a small dice, as I’d chop them next time
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, ground coarse or 3 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon crumbled dry oregano
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (Gourmet suggests 1 tablespoon; I used 1 teaspoon knowing that my flakes are very hot)
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce or 2 cups fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups or 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 green bell peppers, chopped
Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits, below
Sour cream and pickled jalapeños (optional, to finish)
In a large pot (I used a 5-quart, and just fit it all), heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions in it for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for one minute more. Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and vinegar and simmer the chili, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes (if you used ground beef) or 50 to 60 minutes (if you used coarse chuck). Add the kidney beans, bell peppers, salt (I used 2 teaspoons to get the seasoning right for my tastes) and pepper to taste and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until the bell peppers are tender.
Serve ladled over a split Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuit, below, with additional sour cream and pickled jalapenos, if desired.
Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Drained and chopped pickled jalapeños, to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub them in with your fingertips until well-combined. Stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut six rounds. Bake on an ungreased (or parchment-lined, if your baking sheets are as “weathered” as mine are) for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.
Do ahead: If you’d like to serve them over a couple days, I recommend freezing already formed but unbaked biscuits until you are ready to bake them — you can bake them directly from the freezer, adding just a minute or two to the baking time.
I admitted somewhere in the comments last week that I’d all but abandoned making my own pumpkin puree these days, baking instead with the always-reliable canned stuff. I think that as home cooks, it’s our tendency to want to do anything and everything that can be from scratch as such, but that I’d never been satisfied with the labor versus outcome balance of roasting pumpkin. To get a dreamy texture like one from canned pumpkin, I found I often had to roast, then puree, then sometimes cook briefly on the stove to thicken it up and often, still found the flavor inconsistent, sometimes delicious, often a little lackluster. I know, I just put you all to sleep. I promise, there is unapologetic goofiness ahead.
What I didn’t get into was my current obsession — putting sweet potato where you’d expect pumpkin. With the arrival of this guy, roasted sweet potatoes are in a near-constant rotation and so it was only a matter of time before they showed up everywhere. Whether I buy sweet potatoes from a Stop & Shop by my parents house or the bottom of a dusty crate at a farmers market on 2nd Avenue, is a remarkably consistent creature of the underground. I roast them for 45 minutes (which makes my apartment smell like bubbling sweet potato caramel, i.e. heaven), let them cool, then peel and run them through a potato ricer and have perfectly textured and flavored purees every single time. This year I’ve been on a huge sweet potato baking kick: pies, pancakes, breads and now this, biscuits.
I’ve kicked around making pumpkin or sweet potato biscuits for years, but never went for it because I imagined that they’d lack so many of the qualities I like in biscuits — firm tops, visible layers, an almost delicate crumb — that the squishy squash would make them overly cakey or soft. I have never been so happy to be wrong wrong wrong. What emerged from the oven last weekend was heady November perfection: separated layers, a plume of warm spices and an extremely moist biscuit that managed not to be heavy.
Of course, I couldn’t just stop there. That would be too… ordinary.
No, I dreamed instead of making a biscuit variation on the marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole, something I lie through my teeth each year about, pretending it’s not my thing while reaching for another blistered scoop. (One day I will learn that Thanksgiving is no time to feign high fallutin’ tastes in comfort food.) Nevertheless, in my imagination, you’d break open a warm sweet potato biscuit on Thanksgiving morning and a sigh of gooey melted marshmallow would slink from the center, surprising and delighting like a Hostess cupcake. In practice, things didn’t go as I’d hoped. Big marshmallows were too big and two tiny ones buried in the center of a biscuit disappeared — seriously, disappeared! Where did they go? I think this guy knows.
… Greedy biscuit. Marshmallows inserted in little slits on top baked and fizzled kind of unattractively. The most luck I had was rolling the biscuit dough half as thick, scattering miniature marshmallows over it, and rolling the second half on top of it and cutting the biscuits from there. It’s not ideal for re-rolling scraps but the marshmallows held up moderately well. One day, I’ll get this right (maybe a halved large marshmallow somehow adhered to the top of the biscuit?) but Thanksgiving will not wait for that day to arrive.
Nevertheless, whether you go highbrow, lowbrow or completely off your rocker (ahem) with these biscuits, they’re just perfect and they promise to behave if you let them sit at the table. Well, maybe.
New Yorkers: I’ll be on WNYC today at 5:44 p.m. (uh, you know, very soon) briefly discussing a Thanksgiving game plan for sides and sweets. I talk about starting early, getting done anything and everything you can before the big day, when the turkey and its trimmings will dominate your oven and ability to cook other things in the afternoon. High on my list of favorite do-ahead foods are biscuits, such as these. You can make them today, cut and freeze them unbaked and pop them in the oven, still frozen, 15 minutes before everyone sits down, all the more gleeful at the prospect of freshly baked biscuits, with or without a fiesty toasted marshmallow middle.
One year ago: Apple Latkes
Two years ago: Cappucino Fudge Cheesecake
Three years ago: Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones
Four years ago: Chile-Garlic Egg Noodles
Five years ago: Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms, Jacked-Up Banana Bread and Orangettes
Sweet Potato (and Marshmallow) Biscuits
Makes 12 to 14 2-inch biscuits
1 pound sweet potatoes (red skinned are my favorite)
1/3 cup (79 ml) buttermilk
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3 tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground (2 grams) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) table salt
5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, cold
1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)
The day before or a couple hours in advance: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place sweet potato on a tray and roast until soft, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in skin (the fridge can speed this up) then peel. Either run potato flesh through a potato ricer or mash it until very smooth. You’re looking for 3/4 cup (191 grams) sweet potato puree (I get closer to 1 1/3 cups from 1 pound. Melt some salted butter over any remainder and sprinkle with chives — happy lunch!)
You’ll probably have turned your oven off by now, so preheat it again to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk 3/4 cup reserved sweet potato puree with buttermilk until smoothly combined. Keep nearby.
In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt together. If you have a pastry blender, add the butter (if you have a sturdy pastry blender, no need to chop it first) and use the blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. If you don’t have a pastry blender, cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
For both methods, continue by adding the sweet potato mixture and stir and break it up until the mixture is in big, soft chunks. Get your hands in the bowl and gently knead the dough into an even mass, using as few motions as possible (and thus, warming the dough as little as possible.).
With marshmallows: Roll or pat dough out on a floured counter to a 1/2-inch thickness and divide evenly in half. Sprinkle marshmallows loosely over half of dough. Place the second half on top of marshmallow and use rolling pin to gently press the sides together, keeping the final dough thickness at a full inch.
Without marshmallows: Roll or pat dough out on a floured counter to a 1-inch thickness.
Both methods: Dip a 2-inch biscuit cutter in flour then form biscuits by cutting straight down and not twisting — this will help give your biscuits the maximum rise. Bake biscuits on prepared sheet for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden on top. Cool on rack and enjoy as soon as possible.
Do ahead: Biscuits are best on the first day that they’re baked. To make them ahead of time, arrange cut biscuits on a tray to freeze them. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag until needed. Bake at same temperature straight from freezer; biscuits will take about 2 minutes longer to bake.
Did you go strawberry picking last weekend? Did you haul home too many and they are disintegrating faster than you are able to can, preserve, or pluck them individually into your mouth? Do you have strawberry-stained fingers and toddlers? Boy, do I have a treat for you.
It’s like a strawberry shortcake, stuffed inside a single cake. No wait, it’s a strawberry and cream scone, with overripe strawberries that melt, their juices trickling free of their 2-by-1 confines, as they bake. It’s a mistake, a terrible, terrible mistake, this stuffing of fresh, unstructured berries inside a structured baked good; it might make a red puddled mess around each, like sweet, innocent biscuits got lost on the set of a trashy vampire movie. That can’t be right, can it? Shouldn’t a scone be a tidier thing?
I thought long and hard about this when I made these what I confess to be a year ago. A whole year I’ve known you could do this — make a happy mess with berries and cream, all in the name of breakfast — and I didn’t tell you. I was just fiddling around. I didn’t think anyone would actually care about such a
mash smash-up. And then yesterday morning, I was trying to do some spring cleaning on my hard drive, which is understandably groaning under the weight of 1000+ photos I shot for the book and everything you’ve seen here since, and I saw these and I realized I missed them very much. That they were such a fun way to start a weekend morning; you should have a chance to do the same.
One year ago: Roasted Peppers with Capers and Mozarella
Two years ago: Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade
Three years ago: Lemon Mint Granita and Pickled Sugar Snap Peas
Four years ago: S’More Pie and Jim Lahey’s Potato Pizza
Five years ago: Black Bottom Cupcakes and Spring Vegetable Stew
Strawberries and Cream Biscuits
Last year, I shared a cake in which strawberries would ideally almost melt into the batter, leaving jammy puddles in their wake. Needless to say, that inspired these. What I learned from the comments is that baked goods like this — where you want the strawberries to almost melt — really work best with the more fragile berries you’d pick yourself or get at a farmers market, preferably when they’re almost or actually overripe. Grocery store strawberries — firmer stock, designed for long-distance shipping — will also be delicious here, but they’re less likely to melt and trickle.
2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold, unsalted butter
1 cup (about 130 grams) chopped very ripe strawberries (I quarter small or medium ones and further chop larger ones)
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Add butter, either by cutting it in with two knives or a pastry blender (alternatively, you can freeze the butter and grate it in on the large holes of a box grater; a tip I learned from you guys) cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, breaking it up until the mixture resembles a crumbly meal with tiny pea-sized bits of butter about. Gently stir in the strawberries, so that they are coated in dry ingredient, then stir in heavy cream. (I like to use a rubber spatula to gently lift and turn the ingredients over each other.) When you’ve mixed it in as best as you can with the spatula, go ahead and knead it once or twice in the bowl, to create one mass. Do not worry about getting the dough evenly mixed. It’s far more important that the dough is not overworked.
Generously flour your counter. With as few movements as possible, transfer your dough to the counter, generously flour the top of it and with your hands or a rolling pin, gently roll or press the dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles with a floured biscuit cutter or top edge of a drinking glass, pressing straight down and not twisting (this makes for nice layered edges) as you cut. Carefully transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each.
You can re-roll the scraps of dough, but don’t freak out over how wet the dough becomes as the strawberries have had more time to release their juice. They’ll still bake up wonderfully.
Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges and the strawberry juices are trickling out of the biscuits in places. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Do ahead: Biscuits are generally best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the froze, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.
I won’t lie: I generally feel — being a Jewish kid from suburban New Jersey — about the least qualified person on earth to talk about biscuits. My grandmother didn’t make biscuits. I am almost certainly the first person in my family to keep my fridge regularly stocked with buttermilk. And growing up, our breakfast breads were a rotation of Thomas’ English muffins, bagels and maybe corn/blueberry or bran muffins, so it’s not like I have a deep well of biscuit nostalgia to tap into when I decide, on a whim, that what our morning, slicked with heavy snow, really needs is freshly baked biscuits.
Odds are, however you make your biscuits, you’re making them wrong. Either the flour isn’t right (all-purpose when it should be White Lily, cake flour or something equally delicate), the leavener is unacceptable (commercial baking powder instead of a homemade blend of baking soda and cream of tartar), you chose the wrong fat (shortening instead of lard, lard instead of shortening, butter instead of shortening or lard), you pulsed your fat into the flour instead of rubbed, you beat instead of rolled, you dropped instead of cut, you used a cookie cutter (gasp!) instead of a juice glass. I’m totally cool with this: I make my biscuits wrong, too.
Even by my own standards. There’s a general formula I associate with most biscuit recipes, roughly 2 cups of flour to 5 tablespoons of fat and one cup of milk (or sometimes 2 1/4 cups to 6 tablespoons and 3/4 cup), but despite my every effort to love the results of this formula above all else, I failed, reverting to a random version I’ve been making from a diner in Colorado that I found in Bon Appetit in 2000, nearly as far from known biscuit country as one can roam. Its formula — with two leaveners, buttermilk instead of milk and a much higher proportion of butter — isn’t even close to the classic and it’s not even a little sorry.
Because they are awesome. I mean, every single time I make them, I too am confused as to how I became someone who knew my way around a biscuit. It’s not in my bones, it’s not in my history (yet), it’s and so it must be the recipe, which is the best part: that means they can be yours this weekend too.
Biscuits, previously: Cream Biscuits (the easiest biscuits in the world) and Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits. Lots of biscuits and scones in the archives as well.
One year ago: Potato Knish, Two Ways
Two years ago: The Best Baked Spinach
Three years ago: Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts and Coconut Milk Fudge
Four years ago: Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pita Bread
Five years ago: Homemade Devil Dog, Ding-Dong or Hostess Cake, Sweet Potato Wedges, Big Crumb Coffee Cake and Alex’s Chicken and Mushroom Marsala
Six years ago: Red Split Lentils With Cabbage, My Favorite Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes and a Cucumber Scallion Raita
My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from Dot’s Diner in Boulder via Bon Appetit
I shared these on the site way back in its youth, 2007, but I’d adapted them as chive biscuits and it was buried in a post without any photos of their deliciousness. They never got the spotlight they deserved.
These can be adapted in a lot of ways. You can use (unleavened) cake flour for a more delicate biscuit, add herbs or a little grated cheese for a different flavor profile, and the sugar can be dialed up or down (the original calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons, but I use as little as 2 teaspoons when I want a savory biscuit). You can make your own buttermilk (like so) or whisk together yogurt or sour cream and milk for a similar effect. They can be dropped from a spoon or cut into shapes.
The original recipe has a larger yield (12 standard), but for our weekend needs, but I’ve taken to scaling it to 3/4 of its original volume (shown below), which will yield 6 very large breakfast biscuits (think: egg sandwich, and then invite me over, please) or 9 standard ones, the kind you’d serve alongside other things (although they will totally, unapologetically hog the spotlight).
2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons (10 to 20 grams) sugar (to taste, see note above)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons (125 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk
Heat oven to 400 °F and cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large, wide bowl. Using fingertips or a pastry blender, work butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, Add buttermilk and stir until large, craggy clumps form. Reach hands into bowl and knead mixture briefly until it just holds together.
To form biscuit rounds: Transfer dough to floured counter and pat out until 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (err on the thin side if uncertain, as the tall ones will literally rise and then tip over, like mine did the day I photographed these). Using a round cutter (2 inches for regular sized biscuits, 3 inches for the monstrous ones shown above), press straight down — twisting produces less layered sides — and transfer rounds to prepared sheet, spacing two inches apart.
To make drop biscuits: Drop 1/4-cup spoonfuls onto baking sheet, spacing two inches apart.
Both methods:Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve warm, with butter/jam/eggs/bacon/sausage and gravy or any combination thereof. Happy weekend!
Do ahead: Biscuits are best freshly baked. When I want to plan ahead, I make the biscuit dough and form the individual biscuits, then freeze them until needed. They can be baked directly from the freezer, will just need a couple more minutes baking time.
We’ve been on a huge breakfast-for-dinner kick this winter and while I’d like to tell you it has been triggered by earnest, respectable inclinations such as the fact that scrambled eggs, toast, and whatever vegetables or citrus salad we can scrounge up from the fridge for dinner is budget-minded, high in protein, fairly balanced and wholesome, the truth is that it’s been mostly about laziness. Once we figured out that our kid would now not only eat scrambled eggs but be excited to see them on the table [although, let’s be honest, doubly so if he can also talk us into freshly squeezing orange juice or a few slices of bacon], a whole world of unplanned dinners were opened up to us. We now can go all the way to 15 minutes before dinner to come up with a plan for it, which for me is meal-planning equivalent of the heavens opening up and glorifying all of my late-afternoon lethargy. I knew this day would eventually come!
It’s also led to all sorts of diversions, usually in the quickbread department. Last week, I unearthed a recipe for caramelized onion and gruyère biscuits — that’s right, the butter, buttermilk and baking soda equivalent of French onion soup — I’d bookmarked last year and couldn’t find a single reason not to make them once I realized that they’d be a pan of eggs and a small salad away from a completely respectable weeknight dinner. Nobody warns you about this, but sometimes the problem with ostensibly passing as an adult is that there’s nobody there to question you when you decide everyone can eat biscuits for dinner.
I regret nothing. These are as amazing as you’d expect from something with diced bits of cheese that trickle out during the baking time and occasionally land in crispy frico puddles on the baking sheet. The onions are dark, sweet, intense, and briefly soaked in buttermilk before winding themselves through the biscuits. And although these make excellent breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner companions, they’d also be wonderful alongside the kind of hearty winter meal — Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew or Mushroom Bourguignon, anyone? — this blizzard brewing outside will require, nay, demand.
Some biscuit/scone kin: My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits, Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits and Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones
One year ago: Homemade Dulce de Leche and Cheese Blintz
Two years ago: Intensely Chocolate Sables
Three years ago: Potato Chip Cookies
Four years ago: Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce
Five years ago: Ricotta Muffins and Mixed Citrus Salad with Feta and Mint
Six years ago: Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake and Chicken Milanese and an Escarole Salad (still a favorite meal, both parts)
Seven years ago: Leek and Swiss Chard Tart and Key Lime Cheesecake
Eight years ago: Pasta with Sausages, Tomatoes and Mushrooms and Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Bourbon Slush Punch (mid-January Bourbon Snow Cone Punch, anyone?)
1.5 Years Ago: Mama Canales-Garcia’s Avocado and Shrimp Salsa
2.5 Years Ago: Zucchini Bread Pancakes
3.5 Years Ago: Corn, Buttermilk and Chive Popovers
Caramelized Onion and Gruyère Biscuits
Adapted just a tiny bit from Alyce Shields at the late Pronto by Bar Bambino in SF, via Tasting Table
I made a few small changes to the original recipe, which you can see above. I halved the sugar, skipped the honey altogether, prefer to caramelize onions my own way (I find a lid in the initial stage helps the final outcome) and do better with a 1-inch vs. 1.5-inch dough, but otherwise found these to be pretty much perfect the way they were originally made. I froze half and will let them thaw for a bit before baking them, the next time the urgency strikes.
Yield: 10 3-inch (big!) biscuits
9 tablespoons (127 grams) cold unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 3/4 cups (345 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
4 ounces (about 1 cup or 115 grams) gruyère or another Swiss-style cheese in 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk (or make your own)
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add olive oil. Add the onions, reduce the heat to low and place a lid on top, letting them steam for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re deep brown about 10 to 20 more minutes. If, for whatever reason, your onions need more time, up to 10 minutes more, don’t fret, they’ll only be more delicious for it. (Mine took a total of 22 minutes, but my stove at the lowest setting is closer to what I’d call medium, so things cook/brown too quickly.) Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl or the workbowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Dice 8 tablespoons remaining cold butter into 1/2-inch bits. If proceeding by hand, use your fingertips or a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly with butter in pieces no larger than a small pea. If proceeding in a food processor, add the butter and pulse the machine in short bursts until you get the same texture, then transfer the butter-flour mixture back to a medium bowl.
Stir in diced cheese. Pour buttermilk over cooled onions and stir to combine. Add buttermilk-onion mixture to bowl and stir until combined. It’s going to seem a little dry and will help to use your hands to knead it together a few times in the bowl; don’t worry if a couple floury spots remain. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and roll out to a 1-inch thickness. Use a floured 3-inch cutter to stamp out circles and space them apart on prepared baking sheet. Gather the scrap and re-roll them as needed. Sprinkle biscuits with sea salt and pepper and bake until the scones are deep golden-brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges, 20 to 23 minutes.
Eat warm. They’re best on the first day, but if any survive it, they will taste better re-warmed on day two.
This was my first summer having a garden and it coincided with the summer I hatched a new human and the themes of both keep blurring together: The goofy pride in growing things from seed. The occasionally overwhelming feeling that there are so many things and they’re all very hungry and counting on you to fix this. The twinge of sadness as they look less sprout-y and more robust. The urgency to not squander any of this.
With that in mind, there’s the fact that a very warm fall has meant that instead of this garden looking near collapse, it’s going strong and the four billowing pots of herbs that remain are pressuring me to do something great with them before they meet their imminent frosty demise. Fried sage leaves on everything! Crisp rosemary flatbread all the time! Minced chives on every dish! Parsley… I mean, I like tabbouleh and all, but there’s no way I’m going to get through this. Let’s not pretend this made a huge dent, but 5 sprigs down is a respectable effort, right?
Look, I know all of our cooking dance cards are full right now, beyond capacity, even. You’ve probably got your menus sorted. But this was too cute to save for a less frenetic week. Basically, I figured out that you could take any old biscuit and make it rather festive by egg-washing a flat parsley leaf on top before you bake it. I mean, that’s it, that’s all there is to it. The biscuit recipe I used is an old reliable; I’ve made it with cheddar and blue cheese both before. This time I used pecorino but parmesan is more likely what you have around right now and works, or certainly better than going back to any grocery store anywhere two days before Thanksgiving. I held back on the minced scallion I usually put it, but missed it. You could also use a little bit of onion or garlic powder for a more full flavor. You could also use whatever biscuit recipe you were going to, anyway and just do this to it because it turns out biscuits like to dress up for dinner parties too sometimes.
One year ago: Crispy Sweet Potato Roast
Two years ago: Apple-Herb Stuffing For All Seasons, Cauliflower with Brown Butter Crumbs and Parsley-Leaf Potatoes
Three years ago: Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Four years ago: Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Biscuits
Five years ago: Sweet Corn Spoonbread
Six years ago: Creamed Spinach
Seven years ago: Cranberry Pecan Frangipane Tart and Mustard-Roasted Potatoes
Eight years ago: Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie and Chile-Garlic Egg Noodles
Nine years ago: Jacked-Up Banana Bread
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Swirled Berry Yogurt Popsicles
1.5 Years Ago: Soft Pretzel Buns and Knots
2.5 Years Ago: Two Classic Sangrias
3.5 Years Ago: Tzatziki Potato Salad
4.5 Years Ago: Strawberry Summer Cake
Parsley Pecorino Biscuits
Yield: 16 2-inch (tiny) biscuits
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 1/4 cups (2 7/8 ounces) finely grated aged pecorino or parmesan cheese
2 slim scallions, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped small plus 16 extra leaves for garnish
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water for wash
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bottom of a large bowl, then use your fingertips or a pastry blender to work the butter into the dry mixture, until the largest chunks are the size of tiny peas. Stir in cheese, scallions and chopped parsley, then buttermilk, stirring just until combined. Knead once or twice right inside the bowl to form into a rough dough.
Pat or roll it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a floured counter. Cut into 2-inch rounds, pressing straight down and not twisting the cutter. Place on an parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each with egg wash, then place one leaf at the center of each biscuit top. Use brush to dab leaf with egg wash.
Bake biscuits for 11 to 13 minutes, until golden brown. Eat right away, or at least before the day is out.
Because biscuits are best on the first day, if planning ahead, I like to make the dough, cut in into rounds and freeze it until needed. Biscuits can be baked right from the freezer and will only require about 2 minutes extra. Brush egg wash and leaf on right before baking.
This past Saturday, we hosted our second Friendsgiving, stuffing 17 people in an apartment that has no business holding 17 people, but it’s okay, there’s wine for that. Our first one was in 2016; you can read about it here. I took 2017 off because I was a teensy bit busy book touring for Smitten Kitchen Every Day** It was fun to be back.
When having friends over, I like to get everything done that I can in advance and I do this for completely selfish reasons: I want to enjoy my party, too, and I can’t if I’m scrambling around all day and am bone tired by the time food comes out. But last week was abnormally busy and I only got to grocery shopping on Thursday, only to discover that one week before Thanksgiving, it’s like tumbleweeds, the lull before the weekend stampede, all past-prime rosemary and other sadness. I almost cancelled but my husband miraculously found almost everything that evening, and instead I did a very beautiful, highly recommended thing: I nixed a few things on the planned menu and swapped more complicated ones for simpler recipes with shorter ingredient lists but high reward. Here’s the menu, a few details, and completely random tips:
* Herb and garlic baked camembert: This is in Smitten Kitchen Every Day and there will never be an SK party without it. In fact, it’s gotten so popular that my friends and family make it now too, so I outsourced it. My SIL brought three, we heated them here. It was so nice to have one less thing to do.
* Bacon-wrapped dates: No recipe, but there are a gazillion on the web. I don’t stuff them (I did it once and it was way too pesky, especially given that they’re good without stuffing) and no dip. We made a ton and they were gone quickly; my daughter called them “bacon candy.”
* Turkey: In 2016, I did a hybrid wet brine from a bunch of sources. It was delicious but not worth the logistical nightmare. And mopping. This year, I made The Judy Bird, a Thanksgiving application of Zuni Cafe’s famous roast chicken. There are many dry brine recipes out there but this was the simplest and why make something more complicated unless you know it’s necessary? Based on the turkey reviews, I don’t think it needs anything else. My changes are that I baste it with a melted 1/2 cup of butter, and then when I’m out of butter, the pan juices, and this year, I put quartered red and yellow onion wedges in the bottom of the pan (tossed with a little oil, salt, and pepper) and friends, they were glorious after getting caramelized and lightly charred in turkey-butter drippings for a few hours. Here’s a logistical tip I don’t think enough recipes make clear: You want to rest your turkey for 20 to 30 minutes before carving it, tented lightly with foil. It’s then going to take 15 minutes to carve (I had a friend holding a YouTube video tutorial in front of me because I’m very bad at it.) This gives you 30 to 45 minutes of empty oven time where you can reheat sides, which is more than most need. I have a single, not big, not great oven and it was all I needed. [I mean, needs being relative, just in case Nancy Meyers is out there and wants to lend me a set kitchen and the life that goes with it next time.]
* Gravy: I really ought to write up a recipe one day, huh, but I use a basic formula of 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup flour, 8 cups chicken or turkey stock, a splash of dry marsala or sherry to deglaze the pan, and a lot of salt and pepper. (You cook this the way you would a bechamel.) When your turkey is done, if you want to separate the drippings, you can replace any of that butter with fat and any of that broth with juices. Or you can skip it! The gravy will have a less nuanced turkey flavor, but it’s still pretty awesome, especially if you have homemade stock. (In a freak bit of luck, I discovered two quarts of this in the freezer from last winter and used them for the gravy, stuffing, and more.) I make the gravy right in the bottom of the roasting pan, stretched across two burners; this way I can scrape up all the good, flavorful bits. If you don’t use the dippings to make gravy, I highly recommend you use them to drizzle over the sliced turkey, to keep it as moist as possible when you serve it.
* Stuffing: I also owe you a recipe for this but although I have two stuffing recipes on this site that I adore, I made a simple challah stuffing instead — although I made it decidedly less simple by making my own challah. Each loaf will make enough bread cubes to easily fill a 9×13-inch dish. I made mine with just celery, onion, and herbs, but you could easily sauté some mushrooms, diced apples, pancetta or crumbled sausage in too. Oh, and definitely make enough to have leftovers; this is important.
* Cranberry sauce: I went old-school with this, with a very early recipe on this site. I wanted something on the sweet side because my friend Ang was bringing a more savory one with tomatillos. Both were delicious.
* Green bean casserole with crispy onions: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it (homemade). I make the green beans extra firm (just 2 minutes, then into ice water), then the mushroom sauce. Cool them both fully before mixing them. This goes in the fridge overnight. I’ll fry the onions — always make more than you need — and keep those separate until we’re about to eat the warmed casserole.
* Slow-roasted sweet potatoes: Once I realized I’d have no time for the root vegetable gratin I’d originally planned, I added these and 10/10, would recommend because the ingredient list is basically nonexistent. I baked them for the 2 to 3 hours before the turkey goes in, because they need a lower temperature. Broil them to get a good color on the skin. Leave them out while the turkey roasts (they’ll stay decently warm for a couple hours) and rewarm them just before eating. We served these in 2-inch segments, skin and all, and I was texting the recipe to friends demanding it even before going to bed that night. It’s that good.
* Stuffed mushroom casserole: My friend Ang brought this too and it was delicious. (She thinks it needs more cheese, though. I had no complaints!)
I didn’t make any pie at all! (Although my friend Molly brought a mincemeat pie with a cheddar crust and it was wonderful.)
* Bourbon pumpkin cheesecake: I made this in a 9×13-inch pan to cut as bars instead. Same recipe. Same temperature. However, you’ll want 1.5 or even 2x the crust, and it bakes in about 30. Seriously. It’s awesome.
* Perfect Manhattans: Because why not. I made two carafes of them, just scale up the recipe until you run out of an ingredient or carafe space. Friends can pour or shake it over ice; leave cherries or orange peel strips on the side.
* Cranberry crumb bars with mulling spices: This is in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
Finally, as always, I have a last minute recipe for people who do things at the last minute. It’s never my intention, but it’s consistently my reality. I made these biscuits the first time over the summer, a season where we eat outside and act like it’s no big deal (waah), for a 4th of July ribs fest along with slaw and corn and all of those summery things. So, they go really well with warm weather. But they’re also a great quickie dinner roll, or even a fun addition to a breakfast-for-dinner night (like we had last night) with scrambled eggs and bacon. They take 5 minutes to put together and 15 to bake and there’s nothing not to love about that. They’re craggy and crisp on the outside and plush within, perfect for splitting open with your fingers, buttering, drizzling with honey, and finishing with flaky salt or nestling into the side of your holiday plate.
One year ago: Endive Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Walnuts
Two years ago: Root Vegetable Gratin and Cheesecake-Marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie
Three years ago: Kale and Caramelized Onion Stuffing, Apple Cider Sangria and Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad
Four years ago: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Pickled Cabbage Salad and Pretzel Parker House Rolls
Five years ago: Perfect Uncluttered Chicken Stock, Cranberry Orange Breakfast Buns, Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions, and Apple-Herb Stuffing For All Seasons
Six years ago: Granola Crusted Nuts and Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and Gingersnaps
Seven years ago: Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Goat Cheese, Creamed Onions with Bacon and Chives
Eight years ago: Sweet Corn Spoonbread
Nine years ago: Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash and Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
Ten years ago: Mushroom and Barley Pie
Eleven years ago: Roasted Stuffed Onions and Simplest Apple Tart
[New!] Twelve years ago: Cranberries: Candied, Fruity, and Drunk
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Pasta Salad with Roasted Carrots and Sunflower Seed Dressing
1.5 Years Ago: Rhubarb Upside-Down Spice Cake and Tall, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
2.5 Years Ago: Failproof Crepes + A Crepe Party and Crispy Tortellini with Peas and Proscuitto
3.5 Years Ago: Crispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic, Not Derby Pie Bars, Liege Waffles, and Mushrooms and Greens with Toast
4.5 Years Ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars and Five Egg Sandwiches
** have you bought it? There’s so much great Thanksgiving and holiday stuff in there, like a chocolate pecan slab pie, a kale caesar that we have out at almost every dinner party, a wild mushroom shepherd’s pie, and a few of my favorite cookie recipes, ever. Between now and December 12th you can order either my first book, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, or Smitten Kitchen Every Day, my second with a custom inscription of your choice from The Strand and it will arrive by Christmas.