With her book Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions, author Rosanna Bowles (who, in addition to writing books, also owns a dishware empire--and yes, that's her real name) has a mission: to bring people together through real, live, human connection--by establishing year-round traditions, many of them featuring delicious food.
And the first tradition I'm ready to embrace? Biscuits with Sugar Butter.
As the recipe intro states,
This recipe has its origins in the pioneer era and has been handed down through four generations in my family. My mother's classic biscuit is very much like the version that is eaten widely throughout the South. I believe that the sugar butter may come from Virginia, where my great-grandparents settled after emigrating from Wales. Like many truly great recipes, this is one that has survived many generations and carries with it the love with which the food is made.
And after preparing it for breakfast, I can firmly attest that these lightly salty biscuits smothered in sweet, praline-y butter is the type of stuff that glues families together, makes people fall in love, and makes bellies very happy. Ready to taste the love? Here's the recipe.
Pat's Biscuits and Sugar Butter
Adapted from Coming Home by Rosanna Bowles
For the biscuits
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature, plus three tablespoons melted butter (for glazing the biscuits)
- 1/2 to 1 cup whole milk
- pats of butter, for serving (in case the sugar butter isn't enough)
For the sugar butter
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (more if necessary, to your desired consistency)
- Preheat oven to 450. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
- Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the room temperature butter with two forks (pie crust style!)--or go ahead and do this with a food processor if you've got one, mixing until the mixture is about the consistency of cornmeal.
- Add 1/2 cup milk and mix (or pulse) until combined. Add more milk if needed until the dough has reached a consistency where you can form it into a large, soft ball (it will be sticky; handle with floured hands on a floured surface).
- Lightly knead the dough on a floured surface for 30 seconds--about 10 folds. The dough should be fairly moist and light--overworking will make the biscuits tougher (though still pretty tasty!).
- Form a ball with the dough, and then roll it out into a half-inch sheet on your floured surface using a well floured rolling pin. Using a biscuit cutter, larger cookie cutter, or a mid-sized drinking glass, cut into rounds or shapes. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter, because I, you know, love biscuits.
- Put the biscuits on your prepared sheet. Brush the tops with the melted butter and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, but keep the biscuits on the baking sheet until the sugar butter is ready--this will keep them warm. Nom.
- Prepare the sugar butter. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar and cook until the mixture bubbles. Add the cream, and turn down the heat to keep the cream just below a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat, ur until the sugar is dissolved, the mixture has started to reduce and thicken, and the flavors are working for you (you'll have to taste it for this part. Be brave.)
- Add a bit more cream if the sugar butter is too thick for your liking and stir to combine.
- Get ready to serve. Put a pat of butter on top of your biscuits, and ladle a big ol' spoonful of the sugar butter on top. Enjoy.