Sweet Potato Biscuits
Adapted from a recipe I found in an issue of Martha Stewart Living years ago, these sweet and buttery biscuits are always a hit with the extended family at Thanksgiving but are also a staple at my house year-round. I serve them with cranberry butter, which is just 1/4 cup (60 ml) cranberry sauce blended in a food processor with 1/4 cup (55 g) softened butter. I almost always double the recipe and freeze half the biscuit dough, cut out and arranged on parchment-lined trays then sealed in a freezer bag. On a night when I need something to go with a pot of soup, I can pull them out of the freezer and bake as few or as many as I need.
Makes 18 small biscuits
- 1 pound (455 g) sweet potatoes or yams
- (1 large potato is usually sufficient)
- 21/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk or cream
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205°C).
Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them directly on a rack in the oven. Bake until soft to the touch, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely. Slice the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh from the skin, and pass it through a food mill or potato ricer (or use a potato masher—you want a nice even mash, not a gummy puree). You should have about 2 scant cups (scant 480 ml) of mash. Stir together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix the milk with the sweet potato mash and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Mix the dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat or roll it out into a ½-inch (12-mm) thick round. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. I find that smaller biscuits cook more evenly, so I keep them around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter (for Thanksgiving, I share my love with a heart-shaped cutter). Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake until the biscuits rise and are slightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes (bake longer for larger or frozen biscuits). Serve warm.
This recipe was extracted from A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes, published by Abrams | Out Now.