Recipes have failed in my realm lately, guys. Almond butter chocolate chunk cookies that came out too oaty and chewy, despite using an entire jar of (expensive!) almond butter in them. Dark chocolate amaretto cookies that looked so good in the recipe I was using, but came out weirdly acidic and bitter (the magic must have been lost in translation, literally – I was using Google to translate the recipe from Lithuanian). I only have so much time and money to bake with, and it’s just sad when things don’t taste great. My search for Amaretto recipes lives on though, since I’ve got to do something with the bottle of it I bought for my lemon cakes recipe months ago. I will keep you updated with any future successes.
So today I’m turning to this buttermilk biscuit recipe, which I’ve made twice and both times to great, great success. The biscuits are called “Touch of Grace biscuits,” which is the perfect name to describe how airy and light these biscuits are. Don’t get me wrong, they are immensely buttery and creamy, but they crumble perfectly and don’t feel dense at all. Southern self-rising flour is a key ingredient, which I previously hadn’t heard of, but was easy to locate in Whole Foods.
The biscuits are from Shirley Corriher’s Cookwise. I heard about them from Molly Wizenberg, as I do many of my favorite recipes. I was listening to Molly and Matthew Amster-Burton’s terrific podcast Spilled Milk and when Molly described these biscuits, I had to go out, get myself some Southern self-rising flour, and make them that same weekend. We ate them hot right out of the pan, and they still were good hours later at room temperature. They were good enough that I even took a tupperware full of them to my boyfriend’s parents and they loved them, which is always a good way to win brownie-points (biscuit-points?).
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups Southern self-rising flour, such as White Lily (I used King Arthur)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, for shaping biscuits (do not use self-rising for this)
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray an 8” round cake pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, salt, and sugar until well combined. Then add the shortening and with your hands, rub into the flour evenly. When you're done there should be lumps the size of peas.
- Add the heavy cream and buttermilk to the flour mixture, and mix lightly, making sure not to overmix. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes. It will be a fairly wet dough.
- Add the all-purpose flour to a plate or shallow bowl. Dust your hands in a little bit of flour. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop a rounded ball of dough into the flour. Use your hands to sprinkle a little flour on top of it, then pick it up and quickly toss it back and forth between your hands until it is covered in flour and forms a dough round. Then you can plop it into the cake pan. Repeat this with the remaining dough until you end up with about 10-12 rounds in the pan, which will be pressed against each other.
- Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. Bake until they become golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes. Allow them to cool just slightly, and then you can dump them out of the pan and break them apart into individual pieces.
- Serve immediately for best results, but they will stay good in a sealed container for a few days.
Recipe adapted from Shirley Corriher's Cookwise, via Orangette