Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Long ago, when taking off multiple days at a time and coordinating said days with friends and family was much easier, we (as a family + our extended best friend family) used to attend something called an Owners Party in the Outer Banks of North Carolina around Easter. These parties were probably geared more towards our parents (the owners, after all) and really I only remember two things about them: 1) they were cold, and 2) they had sweet potato biscuits. There were probably things to do, prizes to win, people to schmooze; but I never noticed because I was too busy sneakily slipping multiple biscuits into my pockets, knowing I wouldn't be seeing the likes of them for another 365 days.

Over the years I have tried and tried to recreate them, and these are absolutely the closest I have come. They are somehow both dense and light, in the way that breads made with potato doughs tend to be, and have a lovely mild sweet potato flavor that is as good for breakfast as it is paired with barbecue chicken and green beans for dinner. I really love these.

-2 cups flour
-2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
-1 tbsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (separated)
-1 stick unsalted butter: 7 tbsp. chilled and chunked; 1 tbsp. melted
-1-2 orange fleshed sweet potatoes to yield 3/4 cup mashed potato
-1/2 milk
-1 tsp. granulated sugar

-Place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Allow water to boil and resume until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (~20 minutes). Remove and allow to cool. Discard skins and mash the potato into burnt orange pulp. Measure as stated above.
-Preheat your oven to 400. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper.
-In a bowl, stir together the following dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Add the cold butter and, using a pastry blender, mix into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
-In a measuring cup, stir together the mashed sweet potato and milk. Pour into the butter mixture and stir with a fork or wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. You will probably need to use your hands to gather and knead some of the remaining bits.
-Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a disc about one inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, begin stamping out your biscuits. Re-gather the scraps and continue stamping until all of the dough is used up. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet.
-In a bowl, mix the granulated sugar and 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.
-Brush the biscuits with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar/spice mixture. Bake for 18 minutes, until puffed. Cool for 10 minutes  & serve.

My one and only recipe tip for these is to invest (and I use invest lightly here, as it will only set you back about $3) in a biscuit cutter. It makes all the difference when shaping! I hope you enjoy!

Recipe Source: Rachael Ray Magazine

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