Sunday, May 24, 2009

Craving Flaky Sandwiches: Nutty Sweet Potato Biscuits

Wrapping up a week of recipes from The Fruit of the Spirit: 100th Anniversary of Bittinger Lutheran Parish, we turn to the one recipe that my friend Heather had dog-eared herself before showing me the book.
Nutty Sweet Potato Biscuits
Opal Fazenbaker

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 c. chopped nuts
2 c. mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts. In another bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, butter and vanilla; add to flour mixture and mix well. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead slightly. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Yes, the same Opal Fazenbaker as gave us the "That's It Salad". I suspect if ever you are invited to lunch or dinner at the Fazenbakers, you're in for a heck of a meal.

Use leftover mashed up sweet potatoes, or if you're cooking strictly to make these biscuits, cook up your taters the night before; you want cold (or at least room temperature) mash to make these biscuits. And, for the love of all things holy, ignore the "margarine" option. There is no margarine option here. Use butter. If you can not bring yourself to use butter, use lard. Margarine has no place here. If you can not use animal products, still, please, don't use margarine. Use some vegetable shortening. Margarine is not going to give you the flaky soft texture you want here.

I read this recipe and think, "Damn, I want a sandwich!" I want to pull a biscuit apart, slather it with chicken curry salad, wrap a paper towel around it and run outside to eat it in the soft green grass. With a crisp white wine. Or a beer.

Oh, yes. These would be fine on a holiday buffet (choose your holiday...Easter ham, Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey, Valentine's Day sweet cream butter). They'd be great with a good lashing of Branston pickle and a crumbling of cheddar. They'd be out of this world as the base for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

...I really need to bake. Soon.

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