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Biscuits

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Scones are a very summery sort of baked good to me. I think it might be the fact that it often incorporates summer berries such as raspberries and strawberries, and also its quick bake time – nobody wants to leave the oven on all day and toil away in a hot kitchen, especially in the summer, do they? The petite sizes also don’t weigh you down, leaving you free to pop a couple in your mouth and then get going with basking in the summer sun.

The nice thing about this recipe is how simple the ingredients come together. There’s no complicated butter-browning or whisking-to-stiff peaks; it’s pretty much a one-bowl recipe that involves stirring. Because the ingredients are so minimal, I recommend getting quality, sweet strawberries as it would really improve the outcome of these scones. I used frozen strawberries that I defrosted, but they weren’t very sweet. I also didn’t have turbinado sugar, so I used dark brown sugar mixed with granulated sugar for topping, but I suspect turbinado sugar would have added a more delightful crunchy texture.

Since scones tend to do best straight out of the oven, definitely freeze the dough if you have excess and bake them when you need them, instead of all at once.

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Mini Strawberry Cream Scones
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 35 1-inch wide scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream plus more for brushing the top
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
turbinado sugar for topping

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift flour into bowl. Whisk in baking powder, salt, and sugar. Slowly stir in 1 1/3 cups of cream and vanilla extract. Add the strawberry chunks. Toss together. Add a tablespoon or two of cream if the flour doesn’t come together – but you want it just be cohesive, not wet and sticky.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead into a 3/4 inch thick sheet and cut into one-inch sized squares with a sharp knife. Brush each circle with heavy cream and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Place 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and serve warm.

I saw this strawberry biscuit recipe on Smitten Kitchen and I was sold when I read that Debbie described  that the strawberries “might make a red puddled mess around each” biscuit. The idea of a freshly-baked biscuit oozing with jeweled molten berry was quite a sexy visual and of course I had to try these out.

These were incredibly easy to make. I’d probably make biscuits more if they didn’t involve cream, which is not something that goes into my weekly grocery shopping list and it tends to go bad pretty quickly too. The texture of the biscuits were really tender and crumbly, and you can definitely discern the cream part of the strawberries and cream equation. I used regular strawberries of regular ripeness, but I’m sure if you used fancy-pants organic or locally-sourced strawberries, the ooze-factor would increase considerably.

Strawberries and Cream Biscuits
From Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 12

2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold, unsalted butter
1 cup (about 130 grams) chopped very ripe strawberries (I quarter small or medium ones and further chop larger ones)
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Add butter, either by cutting it in with two knives or a pastry blender (alternatively, you can freeze the butter and grate it in on the large holes of a box grater; a tip I learned from you guys) cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, breaking it up until the mixture resembles a crumbly meal with tiny pea-sized bits of butter about. Gently stir in the strawberries, so that they are coated in dry ingredient, then stir in heavy cream. (I like to use a rubber spatula to gently lift and turn the ingredients over each other.) When you’ve mixed it in as best as you can with the spatula, go ahead and knead it once or twice in the bowl, to create one mass. Do not worry about getting the dough evenly mixed. It’s far more important that the dough is not overworked.

Generously flour your counter. With as few movements as possible, transfer your dough to the counter, generously flour the top of it and with your hands or a rolling pin, gently roll or press the dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles with a floured biscuit cutter or top edge of a drinking glass, pressing straight down and not twisting (this makes for nice layered edges) as you cut. Carefully transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each.

You can re-roll the scraps of dough, but don’t freak out over how wet the dough becomes as the strawberries have had more time to release their juice. They’ll still bake up wonderfully.

Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges and the strawberry juices are trickling out of the biscuits in places. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: Biscuits are generally best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the froze, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.


These biscuits were a haphazard post-work creation; I was really itching to make something, and since biscuits are as instant gratification as you could get when it comes to baking, I made some. They were decent warm from the oven but got a little dry as it sat out. I did use the minimum amount of fat needed and I also used olive oil instead of butter for an extra Italian twist. However, reheating made them better; and I’m sure dabbing some butter in a halved biscuit would be quite delicious.


Yogurt and Sun Dried Tomato Biscuits

Adapted from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Makes 7-8

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoons olive oil
3/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon yogurt
3-4 pieces of sun dried tomatoes, chopped roughly

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add oil. Stir in sun dried tomatoes.

Using a large spoon, stir in the yogurt until mixture just forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 10 times; no more. If it is sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick slightly to your hands.

Press the dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle and cut into 2-inch rounds. Put on ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Bake for 7 – 9 minutes or until the biscuits are a beautiful golden brown. Serve within 15 minutes for them to be at their best.

These biscuits melt in your mouth and are a delight to eat. Smear on some grape jelly and a pat of butter and you have a delicious dessert/appetizer/breakfast/snack. For an added oomph, drizzle some homemade caramel sauce. Desserts should account for every meal. The original recipe says sugar is optional – I declare the sugar absolutely necessary.

Cream Biscuits
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 10 biscuits

3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little. (I ended up using two additional tablespoons, or half the unused cream.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip the top of each round in melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze for future use.

Note: Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5. If freezing, dip biscuits in melted butter just before baking. I find that the tops of my biscuits don’t brown as well when frozen. Baking in the upper third of the oven helps the browning, but creates a slightly burnt bottom.