July 22, 2014

A Christmas Treat: Sweet Cream Biscuits

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My first thought upon taking the first bite of Kim’s Sweet Cream Biscuits was one of surprise. They are beautifully, subtly, elegantly sweet! Who knew? In fact they are like my mother’s baking powder biscuits—a sort of cousin to them I would say–except they have this sweet difference. And they are also filled with another flavor. How can I describe it? It is round and nutty–the flavor of baked butter.

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And this says nothing about their texture. The top is deliciously flakey and the bottom has a light crunch. Then the middle! The middle is tender, like angel’s wings I’m thinking… Oh forget it. You’re just going to have to try them yourselves. There are no words to adequately describe these wonderful little delights of flour, baking powder and heavy cream.

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And as I sat before the platter of biscuits I caught myself reverting to a game of childhood. I assessed each biscuit–their shape and size and degree of browning–to pick the very best of the platter. And I did this again and again and again. Oh, that’s the other thing. There is no stopping eating them, until the platter is empty or you just can’t go on. I suggest them for your Christmas Day breakfast.

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SWEET CREAM BISCUITS

2 C all purpose flour
1/3 C Baker’s Sugar (fine)
1 T fresh baking powder (baking tip: replace your baking powder every 6 months)
1/2 t salt
1 & 1/4 C heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 – middle rack in place

Baking sheet with parchment paper ready

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Whisk dry ingredients together in large bowl…

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Pour in cream…

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… and mix together quickly:

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When fairly well mixed dump it all onto cutting board or counter top…

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… and press and squeeze together until it forms a moist clump. Don’t overwork the dough at this point. This should only take about 2 minutes:

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Either with a rolling pin or your hands shape the dough into an approximate 1/2” thick rectangle. Don’t worry about the dry bits that fall away:

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With a large kitchen knife cut the dough into 1 1/2” or 2” diamonds or rectangles…

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… and place spaced on the baking sheet and into the oven:

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They should take about 15 minutes, turning the tray half way through, then removing to a cooling rack when finished to a golden brown:

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I sometimes add a half cup of currants, separating the small fruit with my fingers in the dry ingredients just before adding the cream. These are really the same as scones by a different name, and are best eaten when just cooled because at this point the outer crust is dry and buttery, with the interior warm and tender. The combination is wonderful and delicious eaten as is, but also marvelous with a bit of good butter and jam.

Variation

For dinner biscuits, omit the sugar and add 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary.

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And with that, coffee and biscuits complete, the sun fully up, we decided to take the dogs for a walk. And I realized THIS is Christmas–these sweet, small memories and activities: Up before the sun to make Sweet Cream Biscuits, the house filled with warmth from fire and oven, the rising of the sun, golden scents of baking embracing the kitchen, breaking bread and then off into the woods, a bit of snow remaining on the ground, the dogs in utter bliss. No shopping mall, no wrapped package, could come close to this. This is how I make Christmas and I hold it dear in my heart.

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Love to you all,

Jeane


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