Friday, October 19, 2012

It is most definitely pumpkin biscuit time

So the truth is, it has been a crazy busy week at work and I needed to bake something, BUT it had to be something simple.  I also kind of needed to already have all of the ingredients in my house.  I wanted to be able to wake up at 5:15 am, eat a few pieces of toast and whisk something up, before my morning run.   I have also been thinking about what to bake this week for a few days now, and the answer to all of these things were these pumpkin biscuits.  (Lets just say that since about July I have been stocking up on pumpkin. Why? Because last September when I wanted to make yummy pumpkin things the grocery stores weren't stocking it.)  

So, as I was thinking about what to make, I kept dreaming of these delicious sweet potato biscuits that Cafe Carolina in North Carolina makes. (Cafe Carolina may or may not also be  my second job ever and the first restaurant I worked in.)  This is my twist on those biscuits.  These biscuits did not fluff as much as I would like, but they are still light and have great flavor, plus they can totally be made vegan.  (I agree with Molly that I probably over worked my dough, thus the flatter biscuit.)  I need to admit too, that I had to make these twice.  The first batch just never even made it to the oven, because I apparently was still asleep to start with.  I just did not follow the directions...whisking the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients without first adding the butter to the dry ingredients.  Next time, there might just need to be coffee first, then baking.  Well...Happy Friday and have a fantastic weekend!

Biscuits then a run by the old office that has this crazy statue fountain.

Laying it all out.  I love when baking something, doesn't require a special trip to the grocery store.

Wet and dry ready for mixing.

A little folding action and the dough starts to come together.

With a little extra milk added the dough is ready for the floured cutting board.

Gently pat it out to 3/4 inch thick.

Top with just a little big of brown sugar for an extra sweetness.

Fresh out of the oven.

Vegan or Regular Pumpkin Biscuits: (recipe adapted from Paula Deen)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree 
1/3 to 1/2 cup soy milk (or milk) with 1 teaspoon vinegar (or 1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk), as needed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
6 tablespoons cold earth balance (or unsalted butter), cut into small bits
1 tablespoon brown sugar, for sprinkling

1.  Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (with parchment paper.

2.  Cut earth balance or butter in to cubes and place in the freezer.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and 1/3 cup milk mixture. Set aside.

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 
pumpkin spice. Cut in the butter with your hands, a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 

5.  Then add the sweet potato mixture and fold gently to combine. Add the remaining milk a little at a time until all the flour is moistened. The amount of milk you will need will depend on the moisture of the pumpkin.

6.  Sprinkle a small handful of flour on a work surface. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead lightly 2 to 3 times with the palm of your hand until the mixture comes together. Pat the dough out into a 1/2-inch-thick round.

7.  Using a 2 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into biscuits. Gently reroll the scraps and cut out more biscuits. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake until light golden brown and firm to the touch, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve these fluffy biscuits warm or at room temperature.

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