These sweet potato biscuits pair nicely with your Blackened Pork Tenderloin… or anything else you want to serve them with, really. They are easy, they are fun, and they will knock your socks off, even if you aren’t wearing any! It’s also a fantastic way to serve ham: slice them open, spread a little mustard sauce on (that recipe must be shared with you – it’s a must-have with ham at our holiday gatherings), insert a slice of ham and go to town!
The biscuits freeze well and can be zapped in the microwave or thawed and heated in oven. They have just a slight “bite” or “kick” to them which makes you want more of them! At our cooking class, my group’s (and I use that term loosely, as two of us were actually doing the cooking while the other two finished off the three bottles of wine…you know who you are!!!!) were the biscuits eaten at the end of the evening by the whole class. They were tender, they were golden, and they were perfect – the instructor was impressed! Boys, howdy, some of those so-called biscuits could have passed as hockey pucks! But we were there to learn, right??!!!
I can’t stress one point too much: this dough does not need to be kneaded or worked much! This dough is a very soft, pliable, sticky dough – to keep it soft and moist you will flour your hands and the dough while patting it out to cut the rounds.
Don’t forget to register for the giveaway! This wonderful 5-qt enameled cast iron multipurpose pan came from my first visit to the newly opened Sur La Table in Birmingham. I will have to write a separate article on that episode as it is a story in itself! Happy cooking!
Sweet Potato Biscuits – makes about 2 dozen, 2-inch biscuits
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
2 to 3 medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (1 ¾ lbs)
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp double-acting baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (I like just a smidgen more!)
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 ½ cups buttermilk, very cold
2 Tbsp lightly salted butter, melted (you can take unsalted butter and add a sprinkle of salt)
Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pierce with a fork. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on individual’s oven. Cut the potatoes open and let cool to room temp. Scoop the potato pulp out; discard skins and either pass pulp through food mill or mash with potato masher. Measure enough potato puree to equal 1 ½ cups.
Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse several times to combine thoroughly. Add the butter cubes over the top of flour mixture. Take a spoon and toss the cubes to coat them slightly with the flour. Replace top of processor and pulse 12-15 times, holding each pulse for one second. The mixture should resemble coarse meal. Pour the contents of the processor into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sweet potato mash and buttermilk; add to the flour mixture all at once. Mix gently by hand, just until incorporated, to form a soft dough. Important note: do not overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough!
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface; pat the dough into a ¾ inch thick circle. Cut biscuits, using a 2-inch cutter* dipped in flour, then cut straight down without twisting. Continue dipping the cutter in the flour between each biscuit.
Space the biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet, then brush with the melted salted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, again depending on your oven. Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes.
*I love to use my square cutter when making these biscuits. Use your fluted cutter, also.