Basic Biscuits (Rewind #1) – TWD

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I hope you all had a WONDERFUL turkey day.

I hope you gave thanks for a bunch of stuff you are thankful for.

I hope you ate turkey. With cranberry sauce from a can, just to make me feel better.

I hope you had homemade biscuits. Because clearly it balances out the totally NOT homemade cranberry sauce. I’m all about balance.

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I’m thankful for my hubby, my family, happy memories, and of course you.

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Here, have some biscuits.

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Click here for the recipe.

Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

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My belly is full of mac and cheese, chicken and peas. I’m too lazy to type much. And too full to pretend otherwise.

These biscuits would have gone well with tonight’s dinner but they didn’t last that long. They were a small, lightly sweet drop biscuit that was simple to throw together and tasted great.

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I halved the recipe, made it in my food processor, used a two tablespoon cookie scoop to cleanly and evenly bake, and I used pancake syrup which probably explains why the maple flavor didn’t shine through as much as I would have liked. Baked for 9 minutes and they were perfect.

All in all, top these with some maple butter or your favorite not-too-sweet jam and you have a nice little afternoon tea snack. Or have them with chili (if you’re lucky enough to not be raptured with 90 degree weather at 100% humidity) or your chicken dinner.

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For the recipe head on over to Lindsay’s blog, A Little Something… Sweet (direct link to recipe here)

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TWD – Tender Shortcakes

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Did I mention that I’ve never had a strawberry shortcake the REAL way? Its true! The only way I’ve ever had it was with those spongy, rather disgusting ‘angel food cake’ cups piled high with berries and whipped cream.

Boy have I been missing out!!

Shortcakes are really supposed to be made with a tender biscuit in place of that angel food mass which provides a COMPLETELY different texture, flavor, and structure to the shortcake.

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Don’t be put off by the fact that I say ‘biscuit.’ It is nothing like the biscuit that you spoon sausage gravy on top of or the kind you eat with bacon and eggs. This is in a class of its own. Tender, soft and pillowy, sweet, crumbly. Sounds good?

Take it a step further: add juicy strawberries. Or raspberries. Or blackberries. Or peaches. Or sautéed cinnamon apples. Or sautéed brown sugar pineapples. Or any insane combination of anything that you deem necessary to satisfy your tummy. (I went with the traditional strawberries and my second variation was sautéed cinnamon apples. Obviously.)

And then, go for the jugular (are you ready for this?)… homemade sweetened whipped cream. Piled dangerously high. That’s right, I said it!!

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Sweetened Whipped Cream Recipe:

2 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, can be substituted for any extract or even rum or kahluah, if you’re boozy like that :D )

Directions:

In a large bowl (trust me, you’ll need it) whip cream starting on low speed using a hand-held mixer until you notice a bit of a textural change. Increase the speed bit by bit as the cream gains more and more substance and texture. On medium-high, whip the cream until ALMOST at desired consistency. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and whip until satisfied with texture and structure. DO NOT over-whip the cream as it will separate and taking it too far… it can turn into butter :O

Thank you to Cathy of The Tortefeasor for choosing this simple, delicious recipe. You can find the recipe for the shortcakes here. And check out the other bakers who baked along this week. I’m certain you’ll find some great inspiration there :)

Up next week: Raisin Swirl Bread.

SMS – Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie

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Sometimes when I decide to tinker with the recipe, I forget that there is a different effect to everything I change. Take for example this pie filling: I read two cups of strawberries and two cups of rhubarb and think to myself “thats it?” So, I roughly double the strawberries and don’t bother to think about what that’ll do to the pie.

Just in case you didn’t know, strawberries have a HIGH water content. So high, that when you double the amount of strawberries called for in a recipe, you should expect nothing less than strawberry soup.

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Don’t get me wrong, this pie was SO delicious that I didn’t mind that I had to pour a bit GALLONS of the extra strawberry hued water out or that it made my pie crust soggy, no. I didn’t care because it was sweet and tangy and the biscuits were tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Pie heaven!

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Now if only I could have taken more appealing pictures of this pie. I really hate struggling for natural light :(

I used fresh berries and frozen rhubarb. Houston doesn’t seem to like rhubard. Which would explain the hordes of stores I’ve gone to in order to find fresh rhubarb. With none to be found.

Update: I FINALLY found fresh organic rhubarb…… at $6.99/lb. No thanks. I’ll keep searching :)

A huge thank you to my friend Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for choosing this recipe and finally getting some of that frozen rhubarb out of my freezer. Head on over to her great blog for the recipe and mass amounts of foods that’ll really get your mouth watering :)

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Up next week: Peanut Butter Truffles

TWD – Sweet Cream Biscuits

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If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: biscuits hate me.

They don’t rise or puff up or have that beautiful fluffy texture. No. Not for me. They usually taste good, which is the most important part of baking… but sometimes I would just like to turn out some aesthetically pleasing biscuits. Is one time too much to ask? *sigh* I’ll keep plugging away hoping to find my mistake and one day, ONE DAY I will turn out marvelous, glorious, sky high biscuits. I have faith.

Aside from the aesthetic disappointment, these were the best tasting biscuits I’ve made so far, which made me realize that I like my biscuits on the sweeter side. They came together VERY quickly (no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, few simple ingredients, mix and shape and you’re done) and tasted delicious!

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I hope to master the art of biscuit making and I think I’ll use this recipe as my guinea pig. Cross your fingers for me :)

Thank you to Melissa of Love At First Bite for choosing these yummy biscuits. Head on over to her blog for the recipe and don’t forget to stop by all of the other bakers’ blogs to see how wonderfully puffy their biscuits came out.

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Up next week: Chockablock Cookies (which I have already made and boy, oh boy. Delish!)

TWD – Sweet Potato Biscuits (erm, cookies)

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This will be a short(er) post than normal. I don’t have much to say regarding these biscuits. In a few words…

They didn’t rise.

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SO I decided to market them as soft sweet potato cookies. I told the story and offered them to my coworkers and they were well received!! So,

I think my biscuits went south because I used a glass cup to cut the biscuits rather than a sharp biscuit cutter. I must remember to invest in some of those!
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So, lessons I’ve learned:

* Don’t over-handle the dough. Stop JUST BEFORE you think its done.
* I need to invest in biscuit cutters AND a pastry cutter.
* Check the expiration date of your baking powder/soda BEFORE you bake.
* I must make these again. Simply because they tasted so good (and because I had tons of fun mashing up the sweet potatoes!)

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For the recipe please visit Erin’s blog Prudence Pennywise and oogle her delicious goodies!! And for a better visual of these biscuits, visit the TWD blogroll!