Sunday, November 9, 2014

Butternut and Parmesan Biscuits

Hi, all!

I hope the fall has been treating you well so far. I've enjoyed cozying up in sweaters, scarves, and boots, not to mention cozying up on the couch with coffee and, of course, fall-inspired baked goods.

Every November as Thanksgiving dawns on us, I dedicate all of my food-related daydreaming time
to planning my Thanksgiving menu. My Thanksgiving style is classic and comforting with a few fun updates each year. Never will you find a Thanksgiving dinner at the Price house sans cornbread pudding, mashed sweet potatoes, homemade dinner rolls, or chocolate kahlua pecan pie, but plenty of other recipes get revamped each year. This year? Butternut and parmesan biscuits.

Yep. Butternut squash - the epitome of fall produce. Parmesan - the quintessential savory, salty, nutty cheese. Biscuits - need I say more?

Butternut and Parmesan Biscuits


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled and diced
  • 2/3 cup butternut squash puree (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and parmesan. Stir until combined.
  3. Add the butter and mix with your hands, crumbling the butter into pea-sized pieces.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the butternut squash, milk, and honey. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stir just until combined.
  5. Dump dough out onto a floured surface and roll or pat until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutters about 2 inches across for mini biscuits (with larger biscuit cutters, tack on a few minutes of baking time). 
  6. Place biscuits on a parchment or silicon mat-lined baking sheet, brush with a thin layer of milk and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.



Notes:
  • To make butternut squash puree, I peeled and diced about 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, microwaved it in a covered bowl for 3 minutes, then pureed it in a blender. I've seen canned butternut squash puree at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, which you could certainly use - or just substitute pumpkin puree!
  • These biscuits can be mixed and rolled well in advance (ahem, right this very minute) and frozen until Thanksgiving. Hooray for make-ahead menus!
  • You better be serving these biscuits alongside butter and honey...or honey mixed with butter. Or maple butter. Or maple butter with a little nutmeg, fresh chopped sage, and sea salt. You get the idea. 
  • What to do with all those biscuit dough scraps? Tear them into small pieces and lump them together, then brush with milk and sprinkle with parmesan as usual. You'll end up with little pull-apart biscuits that may even be more fun than the ones that require fancy little biscuit cutters (although shot glasses work just as well, and you should really have those on hand during the holidays).