Food

THE BEST BISCUITS

December 2, 2015

Every year, I bake a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving. I only do it for Thanksgiving because it’s so rich, and it’s kind of become my signature. But this year, I wanted to make something else so my mom wouldn’t have to worry about every other dish on the table–and so I landed on biscuits.

Initially, I wanted to try Nancy Silverton’s all-butter biscuits, which sound 100 percent amazing, but the thought of grating five sticks of butter and using a yardstick to measure the dough sounded a little too daunting for Thanksgiving afternoon. So I turned to my favorite standby, Smitten Kitchen, and found a super-simple recipe for cream biscuits. They have six ingredients, took five minutes to come together and baked up perfectly. Plus–as you would expect from a recipe that contains a cup and a half of cream and ends by having you dip your biscuit dough in melted butter–they taste so good; they’re rich and light and flaky, and yet they still feel substantial. We had them fresh from the oven at dinner, then ate the leftovers with scrambled eggs and bacon the next day. Here’s the recipe, if you’d like to make them yourself–and you really should.

Cream Biscuits
Adapted just slightly from this recipe

3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave-safe bowl and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and 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 the entire 1 1/2 cups, but humidity, altitude, temperature, etc. will definitely be a factor and you may not use all of it.)

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. (I used a tall drinking glass.) 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.

P.S. Gingerbread cookies with vanilla glaze and chocolate crinkle cookies, if you’re in the holiday baking mood.

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