November 22, 2017

Pumpkin Biscuits

I'm hiding from my family while writing this. In the less than 24 hours since I arrived in Atlanta, I've made my dog hate me for petting him too much, my grandma exploded microwave oatmeal while watching Snoop Dogg, and we've had approximately 3 minor Thanksgiving food emergencies. As much as I love Thanksgiving, I'm excited for the stuff that comes after, like leftovers, online shopping, and having my own bathroom again. One of the greatest Thanksgiving mysteries is what to do with all those leftovers since turkey sandwiches can get a bit boring. In my opinion, biscuits make everything better, so of course the best leftovers should be piled on a biscuit sandwich. Now, it needs to retain the Thanksgiving spirit, so I add some leftover pumpkin puree for a gorgeous color and extra pizzaz to dress up those leftovers.

It's hard to improve upon my basic biscuit recipe. My one modification to treat myself is to use lard instead of butter and shortening if I have it, but I figured my family's arteries are already clogged enough this week. These biscuits are the perfect balance of fluffy, buttery, salty, and soft. To achieve that, I blend flour, plenty of baking powder, and salt with ice cold butter (and shortening). I mix it only until the butter is in tiny lumps. I then stir in buttermilk until just combined, gently pat out the dough, and bake until golden and perfect. The buttermilk is non-negotiable for its tang and magical acidic leavening powers; trust me, it's worth buying for this recipe.

To pumpkin-ify these biscuits, I take out some of the buttermilk and replace it with pumpkin puree. Make sure you don't buy the big cans of pumpkin pie filling, since those have spices, sweeteners, and other ingredients you don't need in your biscuits. You still need some buttermilk in there for texture, leavening, and flavor, but you have to have pumpkin in your pumpkin biscuits. I've found that about a 50/50 mix works out just fine. You can serve these plain, alongside your Thanksgiving feast, for breakfast all week, or to make your leftovers on Friday just a little bit better.

3 1/4 Cups Flour
1 T + 1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 T Butter, Chilled & Cubed
1 T Butter, Melted
1/4 Cup Shortening, Chilled & Cubed
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree

Heat oven to 425F. Line a cookie tray with parchment.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter and shortening. Whisk the buttermilk and pumpkin together, then gently stir into the flour until just combined.

Roll the dough out to a 1” thick slab. Cut into circles and place on the prepared tray. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter.

Makes 12

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