I seem to be posting more recipes than writing posts lately. I’ve got three different finished manuscripts that I’m bouncing between, doing last-round edits before submitting. There’s the third book of the Tempest trilogy, the third (and possibly fourth because things got long and complicated) book of the Middle Hill series, a stand-along pirate-slaveboy-fantasy thing with the working title of Shark Punching. (Spoiler alert – there is a shark that gets punched. Other spoiler alert – the working title will not be the final title.)
So of course, I’ve been making biscuits. It all started with the need for goodies for various Christmas party pot lucks, when I wanted to try making clotted cream. (Not a spoiler – it turned out, and was delicious.)
The cream biscuits are easier than butter, flakier, and stay fresh longer. I’m giving the basic method and the variation I actually made:
Regular cream biscuits:
- 2 cups all purpose flour (though you could use self raising flour, which is even better, just skip the baking powder and salt)
- 1-2 tbs of sugar (depending on how sweet you like them)
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Mix all dry ingredients well. Add cream. Mix with a spoon until combined. Within the bowl or on the counter (tipping out the rest of the dry ingredients if you have it so as to not add more flour, don’t knead the dough so much as pat it out flat and fold it over three or four times. The pat flat and fold method will give you the layers.
You could use a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits, then reroll and cut, reroll and cut, but every time you do so, the dough gets less and less tender. So embrace the square biscuit and cut up all your biscuits at the same time. Use a bench scraper for best results. This is best done quickly. If you saw at it, you could “glue” the layers down and they won’t puff up.
Use a pastry brush dipped in the container that held the cream and dab what you couldn’t pour out on top of the biscuits. Sprinkle with sugar if going for a sweet version. Separate the biscuits on a parchment lined cookie sheet so the heat can get at all four sides. They don’t need much space, though. They’re not going to spread out.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. They should be lightly browned on top when they come out. Delicious with jam or honey! Even better with clotted cream.
But I made buttermilk vanilla cream biscuits, which is the same as above, just adding:
- 1/4 cup of buttermilk powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp vanilla seeds (you can use 1 tsp vanilla paste or even 1-2 tsp vanilla extract)
I followed the exact same method. I definitely recommend sprinkling sugar over them before they go into the oven.
You could add anything to these. Dried cherries or cranberries, chocolate chips, grated cheese and chives…they’re extremely versatile and you never have to cut butter into the flour.