We are in the last, golden days of summer. The nights are getting cooler, with a whisper of autumn dreams to come. We are at the best of both worlds, right now– beautiful, sunny days, evenings that stretch into golden oblivion, and my herb garden giving it “the old school try.” My sweet little herbs are growing like mad, and so I decided to create a sweet and savory biscuit– perfect for one last, sweet summer picnic.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Sweet Potato Rosemary Biscuits
(adapted from Food Network)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. butter flavored shortening (such as Crisco), chilled
1 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1/2(ish) cup milk
Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in cold shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently stir in rosemary, sweet potato, and milk, being careful not to overmix. Roll biscuits out on a floured surface and cut them to 1″ thickness with a biscuit cutter. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes, until bottoms are nice and toasty brown (since these are darker biscuits it’s harder to tell when the tops are golden). Brush tops with melted butter, if desired, and serve immediately.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
Start by peeling and cubing your sweet potatoes. Think deep thoughts. And chop, chop, chop away. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, or so, until they are tender.
When the potatoes are tender, drain them and mash the potatoes. You can also pre-portion these sweet potatoes and freeze them, which means you can have awesome sweet potato biscuits (*whispers*) anytime you want.
Now it’s time to make our sweet little biscuits! 🙂 Making biscuits is a skill that isn’t hard, but one that takes practice to get right. You can read more about my Biscuit making journey here. Trust me . . . I’ve definitely made my share of “rocks” in my time. My hubby used to sit down to dinner and say, “Biscuits, huh?” smile, and pass the basket. Haha. But take heart– the more you make these elusive little buggers, the better you get at it. There’s an old saying that says “You can’t make decent biscuits before menopause.” hehe. I don’t know about that, but it does take quite a while to get the hang of it. So don’t give up! If I can do it, you can!
Start by whisking your dry ingredients together. This just helps get the baking powder incorporated throughout the flour so that your dough will rise evenly. Once you get your dry ingredients mixed together, use a pastry blender to cut in your cold butter. My favorite is the Perfect Pie Blender here. I never make biscuits, scones, or pie crust without it.
Next a quick note on rosemary. Fresh rosemary kind of looks (and smells) like a Christmas tree. But you don’t want to use the branch part. Just take your fingers and run them down the stem, so that all the needles fall off. You can throw the stem away– we will only use the needles. Use a sharp knife to mince them. Take a deep whiff of Christmas magic. Awesome, isn’t it?
Mix your rosemary, sweet potato, and part of the milk into your dry ingredients. I say part because you may need a squidge more or a squidge less than 1/2 cup of milk. You want just mix enough milk so that your dough comes together without any flour left behind, without being wet. Dump your dough out onto floured surface and gently roll it out. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter and roll out, again, lightly flouring to keep dough from sticking. Do the “business fold” 3 times– this helps to create tall, fluffy layers in your biscuits.
Roll the finished dough to 1″ thickness and cut out your biscuits. Put the finished biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 12-14 minutes, until the bottoms are nice and brown. Because these biscuits are “sweet potato colored,” it’s hard to tell if the tops are golden, so use a hot pad to flip one over and see when the bottoms are golden brown.
When your biscuits are nice and golden brown and lovely, take them from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter. Of course, you don’t have to do this step. The biscuits are *technically* healthier without the butter on top. But you really should add it. Ohhhhh baby you really should!
And as the melted butter soaks into those gorgeous, flaky biscuits you just made yourself, from scratch, out of herbs you harvested from the earth, give yourself a little pat on the back. Take a big, savory bite. And then another. And add more butter. Everyone knows that the test biscuits don’t have calories. 😉
Because you did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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