Sunday, November 28, 2010
We made these biscuits back in July for my dad's birthday, and they were requested again for Thanksgiving. The first time we ate them picnic-style with fried chicken and slaw. This time we ate them warm with homemade cinnamon honey butter! We were going for a simpler Thanksgiving meal this year, and by serving these biscuits we eliminated the need to make a traditional sweet potato casserole. Two sides in one!
My mom made the cinnamon honey butter. It's perfect with the sweet potato biscuits, and it's even great just on toast!
Joe made the biscuits, I just came in partway through to take some (not very good) photos and eat raw biscuit dough (my favorite).
Sweet Potato Biscuits
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
makes about 8 biscuits, depending on the size of your biscuit cutter
Notes: If you want to make these biscuits ahead of time, you can cut them out, lay them on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for up to two hours before baking (doesn't seem like a huge time saver, but if you or your guests demand biscuits hot out of the oven, this seems like a good way to go). You can also freeze the cut biscuits on a tray in the freezer for about 6 hours, then pile them into a zip-lock bag where they will keep frozen for about a month. When ready to bake, do not thaw, just bake them for a longer time, about 20-25 minutes.
1 large sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups (12 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Move an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the cubed sweet potato into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and poke a couple of small holes in it to vent. Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes, or until the potato is tender. Mash with a potato masher until very smooth. Let cool slightly.
Whisk the heavy cream and vanilla into the mashed sweet potatoes until thoroughly combined.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using a wooden spoon, stir the sweet potato mixture into this flour mixture for about 30 seconds, until it forms a dough.
Lightly flour a clean working surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead briefly, about 30 seconds, until smooth. Pat the dough out into a ¾-inch thick round, about 8 inches in diameter.
Use a 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter if you have a perfectly equipped kitchen, or a small drinking glass of any size if you do not, and stamp out about 8 biscuits. You may be able to make more if you are using a smaller cutter (we made 12 biscuits). You may have to gently pat the dough scraps back together into a ¾ inch thick piece as needed to make all your biscuits.
Arrange the biscuits about 1 ½ inches apart, upside down, on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until lightly browned, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)
makes ¾ cup
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. That's it, you're done.
Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.