Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rosemary-Black Pepper Drop Biscuits

Round 2 of my bake-a-thon (unless you count the bread dough that is currently rising to be baked tomorrow, which I made after the almonds). Another Budget Bytes recipe, because she is my favorite. Original is here, as usual my changes involved upping the herbs and spices by quite a bit. I am pretty sure these are the first really good biscuits I've ever made. I'm a little speechless with their deliciousness.

Rosemary-Black Pepper Drop Biscuits

2 cups flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp sugar
about 1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and rosemary in a large bowl.

Cut the butter into pieces and work it into the flour mixture, either with your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the whole thing is more or less the texture of sand (specifically the sand you'd find along the shore of Lake Erie, not that fine-grained ocean stuff...).

Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in 3/4 of a cup of the milk (I actually used half-and-half because I had it on hand, no problems so far). Mix the milk through the flour and butter, stirring as few times as possible but making sure everything is sticking together. Add a little more milk if you need it.

Use two big spoons to drop dollops of the batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. The recipe should make between 8 and 12, depending on how big you want them. Bake for 18-28 minutes, until the biscuits are brown on top. Serve immediately, or toast in the oven later. Slather with honey butter.*

* To make honey butter, let a stick of butter sit on the counter for half an hour and then use a fork or electric mixer to blend in 1/3 cup honey. Lick your fingers.

candied almonds

I've had a bag of almonds sitting around for months (pretty much since the original recipe was first published), but I finally had the type of free time where I decided that 'bake allllll the things' was the order of the day. Didn't change anything on this one except to double the cinnamon, because that's what I do.

Candied Almonds

1 lb shelled almonds (peels on, preferably)

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Mix the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl.

Separate the egg white from the yolk, and discard the latter (or save it for an omelette or something). Whisk the white in a large metal or glass bowl until it's entirely foam and no liquid. Add the vanilla and whisk a bit more.

Toss the almonds in the egg white until they're coated, then add the sugar mixture and stir through.

Spread the almonds on parchment paper or foil on a large baking sheet. They don't have to be spread evenly, but avoid big piles, as they'll stick together.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let the almonds cool for at least half an hour, and then stir again to break up clumps and shake off excess sugar.

Then hide them from yourself because otherwise you'll eat all of them.