23
Feb
09

breakfast biscuits and yet another birthday cake

One of my best friends flew down from New York this weekend, and since his birthday was last weekend, I figured a nice cake would a proper way to celebrate his event. We decided to hold a joint birthday dinner for him and another friend at the same time at Maggiano’s near the Galleria. We had a ton of people coming, so I wasn’t sure if my cake would be big enough, but it somehow worked out. I wasn’t sure at first which cake to prepare, and was originally going to try a chestnut butter cake, but couldn’t find any chestnut flour around me (Whole Foods didn’t even carry it). Someone told me I should be able to find some at the groceries in Chinatown, so I’ll try that next time.

Instead, I decided to stick with the birthday cake I made for Becky a couple months ago (link found here).  I made a few changes, replacing the lemon zest and juice with meyer lemons.  I used a higher quality gourmet raspberry spread instead of strawberries, which was much easier to apply and didn’t overpower the cake.  For some reason, the cake was much easier to assemble this time around, perhaps since I’ve finally had some practice with layered cakes?  Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera to the dinner, so I don’t have any pictures of a slice of cake… if anyone else was able to take a picture of that, can you let me know?

Justin and Scottys Birthday cake

Justin and Scotty's Birthday cake

I also woke up early the next morning to prepare some biscuits for church.  I had some leftover buttermilk and heavy cream from previous recipes, and I wanted to use them before they expired 😉  I decided to make a batch of buttermilk biscuits and a batch of sweet cream biscuits.

breakfast biscuits

breakfast biscuits

The biscuits were incredibly easy to put together and turned out rather well for my first try at a non-sweet baked good.  I think I’ll probably still stick with desserts in the future, but it was nice trying my hand at something somewhat savory.  The sweet cream biscuits were my favorites, as they had a rich texture and taste that I don’t usually get from a biscuit (they were also the ones that disappeared the fastest at church).  I didn’t have any spare butter to bring, so I instead provided some leftover preserves from other recipes (apricots and raspberries) for people to spread on their bread.

Next time, I’ll probably try a sweeter biscuity breakfast… something like scones perhaps?

Buttermilk Biscuits

from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour (or 1 3/4 cups AP flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 3/4 cup whole milk  (for buttermilk biscuits, replace with buttermilk and add 1/4 tsp baking soda)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 deg F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

2. Whisk flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt (and baking soda if using buttermilk) in a bowl. Drop in butter and using fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Using fingertips or pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into dry ingredients until mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces of everything in between – and that’s just right.  I originally planned to mix all of this in the food processor, then I read that you don’t want to have a fine, consistent texture: indeed, the irregular lumps of butter are what gives the biscuit its rich, flaky nature in the end, so I just used my finger tips as Dorie suggested.

Buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits

3.  Pour the milk (or buttermilk) over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading- 3 or 4 turns should be enough to bring everything together.

4.  Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hand or roll it until 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if its not completely even. Light touch is more important than accuracy.

5.  Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working as little as possible, pat to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer them to the sheet.  I actually just used a pizza cutter and divided into square biscuits since I didn’t want to waste any scraps.

Bake the biscuits

Bake the biscuits

6.  Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown. Transfer to a serving basket.

Sweet Cream Biscuits

from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour (or 1 3/4 cups AP flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 deg F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

2.  Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl.  Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together.  If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough.  Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

sweet cream biscuits

sweet cream biscuits

3.  Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough.  Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high.  Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

4.  Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can.  Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get them ost you can out of this first round.  By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet.  Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet.  (Again, I just divided with a pizza cutter)

5.  Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown.  Transfer them to a serving basket.

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1 Response to “breakfast biscuits and yet another birthday cake”


  1. February 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    KROGER.

    The cake looks amaziiinnggg. But you already knew that.


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