Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuit| Persnickety Biscuit

Lately, I have been waking up at 4:30 am on a regular basis, knowing that attempting more sleep is futile. There is just so much to do. I’ve been sorting through everything in my house, figuring out what to throw away or give away, what to put in storage, and what to move to M’s house. He has been doing much the same, making room for me and my things.

I do try to sleep more but generally give up at 5:30 or 6 and use the extra morning time to get some things done. On this particular morning I decided to make biscuits with my extra time, because that’s what you do when you should really be packing.

Where did this biscuit recipe come from?

Shelton Farms Flour

I had a bag of locally produced whole wheat flour from Shelton Farms that I had been wanting to try. I noticed that it was low in protein, like White Lily. They say that you want lower protein flour (2 g/serving) for biscuits and higher protein for breads, so this seemed perfect.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuit Dough| Persnickety Biscuit

I also had a Granny Smith apple in the fridge that needed to be eaten. I had been wanting to experiment with shredding apple into biscuits ever since I made the Paige’s Family Biscuit recipe. That one seemed to benefit from the larger chunks of apple in my second making, but I liked how the smaller pieces sort of disappeared into the biscuit in the first making, becoming part of the biscuit and not just an addition to it.

Finally, I have been following a very low tech biscuit making process for some time now. There is something very satisfying about that. Getting your hands into the flour, rubbing the butter. But I do happen to have, and to love, this wonderful food processor and have wondered if and how it might be of use in the biscuit making process.

There you have it – the perfect storm of flour, fruit, and appliance came together to inspire these Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

What is persnickety about this biscuit recipe?

It might be difficult to find a whole wheat flour that is low in protein. If that is the case, you may want to try using half of a regular WW flour and half low protein white. I’ve also heard of mixing in part cake flour to add the lightness. If you try one of these options please let me know how it turns out!

Shelton Farms Flour

I also added some ricotta cheese to this biscuit and believe that, and the grated apple, are what makes this biscuit so moist.

So how were the biscuits?

They turned out just as I had hoped they might. Nutty, moist, flaky, slightly sweet, lightly spiced. Perfect warm or cool, with butter or without. Seriously, you could throw one of these into a lunchbox and it would be a perfect snack – no reheating required. I took a couple into the office to share with coworkers and they are still talking about them.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

How were the leftovers prepared?

I only baked a few in the first batch and those were gone in hours. The remainder were cut out and put onto a cookie sheet to freeze, uncooked. After freezing, they were bagged up and saved.

Later I took them out of the freezer, placed them close together on a parchment lined baking pan, and baked them at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. I did not thaw the dough first. Note that is a lower temperature and longer time than if the dough were fresh.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuit Dough| Persnickety Biscuit

I brushed a little almond milk on them and sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top of that before putting them in the oven. The frozen biscuits baked up perfectly. My mother came over to help pack and it was the perfect thing to share with her.

Remarkably, there were still a few biscuits left after that, so I got creative with toppings and constructed this biscuit sandwich.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Bacon Brie Biscuit

If you want to make something similar, just slice the biscuit in half, put a nice slice of Brie cheese on the bottom of the biscuit, add a layer of cooked bacon and a few very thinly sliced apples, another thin layer of brie, and put the top half of the biscuit back on the stack. Warm the whole thing in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes – or until you notice the cheese getting nice and melty. Yum!

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Bacon Brie Biscuit | Persnickety Biscuit

>>> Click here for printable biscuit recipe.

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low-protein (2 g/serving) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup butter-flavored Crisco, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • About ¼ cup all purpose flour (for folding and cutting out dough)

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Put the first six dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds to blend thoroughly.
  • Add butter to dry ingredients and pulse food processor 15-20 times until butter has been incorporated and the bits that remain are about the size of a pea.
  • Add shortening to food processor and pulse 15-20 times until shortening has been incorporated and the bits that remain are about the size of a pea. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Using the shredding attachment of the food processor, shred the apple. Add to the dry ingredients and mix to coat the apple and break up shredded pieces so that they are loose in the mixture. You do not want them to all stick together.
  • Combine vanilla, ricotta, and buttermilk in a small bowl. Whisk together.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture. Mix quickly with spatula or hands, turning bowl and gently scooping the dry ingredients into the wet. Add more buttermilk, if needed, to make dough moist but not too wet.
  • Sprinkle flour onto countertop or pastry board. Dump dough out of bowl onto flour. Sprinkle flour onto dough and rub onto hands. Press dough together and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Fold dough in half. Repeat three times. A pastry scraper can be really helpful to lift up the dough. Keep adding a little flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Press out to about ¾ of an inch high. Using a biscuit cutter or tin can, cut out biscuits. Transfer to cookie sheet. Place biscuits close together on cookie sheet, or 1 inch apart if you want crispier biscuits. Press scraps together and cut out remainder of biscuits.
  • Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until tops of biscuits are slightly browned. If you wish, take the biscuits out of the oven a couple of minutes before they are done and brush the tops of the biscuits with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then return them to the oven.
  • Remove from oven, let rest a few minutes, then break apart and eat!
  • Share with someone you love.

Nashville Biscuit House

Nashville Biscuit House

M. and I have begun what we are calling the Farewell Tour of East Nashville. I’m only moving across the city, but I know we won’t make it back to this part of town as much. So we are revisiting the places we have loved in our two and a half years of dating.

I’ve missed you, I thought as we drove into the parking lot of the Nashville Biscuit House. It is a comfortable place, diner-ish, familiar like an old friend.

Nashville Biscuit House

It was rainy and a little cold out so some comfort food was in order. We waited a few minutes for a table, standing just inside the door, watching the bustle of the place. There is no discernible pause. Someone is always sitting down, getting food, refilling coffee, lining up at the register to pay.

Nashville Biscuit House

The waitresses all wear these t-shirts, which are also for sale. Every time we go I have this internal dialogue. “I would LOVE a Nashville Biscuit House t-shirt. But the shirts have muffins on them, not biscuits. You don’t want a muffin shirt. Who designed these things anyway? Don’t they know the difference between a biscuit and a muffin?” I have not bought one yet, but am still torn.

Uneeda Biscuit at Nashville Biscuit House

This tin was on a shelf. Probably not the same kind of biscuit, but pretty cool anyway!

The menu consists of all of your standard breakfast foods – bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, etc. – combined in different ways and amounts so that everyone gets just what they want. Prices are very reasonable, the food is hot and fresh, the waitresses are friendly, and the coffee is passable.

I’ve eaten – and watched the eating of – a wide variety of breakfast configurations and no one leaves this place hungry. Regardless of what else I order, I always get a biscuit, and have even been known to order an extra one after my meal is finished. Just ’cause.

Nashville Biscuit House

On this day, I kept it simple. I ordered a biscuit sandwich with egg and turkey sausage. All the breakfast goodness I could want on a fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuit. I persuaded M. to get a side of gravy that we could share. In the process of ordering that we learned the difference between their Country Gravy, which is a plain white vegetarian sauce, and their Sausage Gravy, which is just their Country Gravy with sausage crumbled into it.

Nashville Biscuit House

That explains it, I think. I have wondered why I prefer some sausage gravies to others. I’ve not tried making it myself (yet!), but think I like when the sausage is more incorporated – using the sausage drippings in the gravy as it is being made. That’s something I will have to try myself.

Nashville Biscuit House Menu

Nonetheless, the biscuit sandwich was delicious. I like to play with my food, so I ate some “as is,” some with jelly, and saved some biscuit to eat with the gravy. The biscuits here are so fluffy and tasty that I could eat them plain, but where’s the fun in that?

As we left, we saw that the line to get in was out the door, literally, and some people were even waiting in the rain. I felt a little guilty about lingering over my coffee. But I knew that soon enough these folks would be ushered into the warmth and served a good hot breakfast. They would just be glad to be there because sometimes good things are worth waiting for, you know?

A Yurt, a Secret, and a Tupelo Honey Biscuit

The trip was magical. It was late in the summer of 2012. First we went to Bryson City – about an hour from Asheville – to stay in a yurt.

Yurt

Why stay in a yurt? Why, because it is a yurt, of course. Actually, when we first started talking about a trip to Asheville, I sent M. a link to the yurt village as a joke. “I’ve always wanted to stay in a yurt!” he said, and I realized that is what we would do.

The yurt was beautiful and romantic and he surprised me with a ring, which we kept secret until now, for a variety of reasons. That was a big secret to keep! No matter. I’ll always know that we got engaged on the deck of a yurt, after a day of hiking, with a table full of snacks and (unintentionally) frozen leftover pizza, watching the sun set and the moon rise, and drinking “the toad” (aka Toad Hollow Risque Sparkling Wine).

Moon over Yurt

The rest of the trip went quite swimmingly, including a visit to the restaurant called Tupelo Honey. Although we ate many wonderful meals while in Asheville, nothing compared to the fresh biscuit, brought straight from the oven to the table before we had even ordered. It had a bit of a crisp outer layer, with a dusting of salt and pepper. Yes, pepper. It was soft and oh so flavorful inside. I was in heaven. No butter required. I only added a tiny bit of Tupelo Honey just to say I had.

Tupeolo Honey Biscuit

When I finally paused to raise my head from the biscuit I noticed that the woman sitting next to us was eating her lunch and HAD NOT TOUCHED HER BISCUIT. M. almost had to restrain me. I was not sure if I wanted to berate her for wasting the biscuit or just take it for myself. All I know is, the lack of biscuit appreciation was criminal.

After we got back to Nashville, he pinned a link to a biscuit recipe that purported to be a Tupelo Honey recipe. It was one of the first recipes I tried when I began this biscuit-blogging odyssey. It was good, but it was in no way shape or form a Tupelo Honey biscuit. The quest continues. Soon I’ll be moving into a new home with my M., his 12 year old son, and a kitchen that is new to me. We have many adventures and lots of biscuits ahead of us!

Billy Bragg, Biscuits, and BBQ (aka Why I Love Nashville)

As Winnie the Pooh would say, it was a rather biscuity day. Well, Pooh was actually talking about a blustery day, but close enough. In almost Pooh fashion, we began the day with biscuits and honey butter and not much of a plan. It had rained heavily the night before, knocking out the spider webs and ushering in some much welcomed cooler weather. Shortly after we got up, the skies began to clear and we could tell it would be a beautiful early fall day.

We gathered the rest of the batch of biscuits to deliver to the father of a friend – visiting from Scotland. He said he had never had biscuits before – not American “biscuits” anyway – and that was a situation that had to be rectified.

After the delivery across town, we did a little window shopping and ran into some friends we had not seen much of lately. It was a lovely little impromptu visit.

“What now?” said M.

“Hmmm,” I said, as I opened up the Nashville food truck app on my phone, “it looks like Smoke et Al is at Grimey’s. Some kind of special event for the Americana festival.”

Smoke Et Al

“Smoke Et Al?” he asked.

“Yes, they have biscuits,” and I clicked through to the description….  “Fiddler’s Biscuits – Shredded, smoked chicken, green onions, Bourbon Peach BBQ, on a Sour Cream Basil biscuit.”

Smoke Et Al

“What are we waiting for?” he said, and we were off!

Grimey’s New and Preloved Music is a local record shop (yes, those do still exist), known for carrying vinyl and second-hand CDs and getting some of the best bands that come through Nashville to play in their store. They expanded recently and this was the first time we had been to an event since then. Behind the shop, there was an open lot where the food truck was parked. There were also many tables full of bargain-basement priced records. Across the alley, a live performance was in progress. A band we later learned is called Daughter. Beautiful stuff.

Grimey's Americana

The crowd enjoying the music.

We made a beeline for the truck and got our biscuits. What a nice surprise they were. There were large scoops of smoky sweet spicy barbeque chicken piled up on a couple of biscuits, with a smattering of green onions and a side of potato salad overflowing it’s cup. Just looking at it was satisfying.

Biscuits and BBQ

The biscuit was peppery, with flaky layers and a density that held up well against the BBQ chicken. It really was not something you could eat with your hands. We had to use a fork to pile BBQ onto a corner of biscuit, then repeat. This meal disappeared quickly.

Biscuits and BBQ

We made our way over to the live music and checked out the afternoon’s lineup. Billy Bragg was due to play shortly. M. was, I think I can say, beside himself about this. While we waited for that set to start, we wandered through the sunshine to the bins of albums spread out on the tables, looking for nothing in particular and finding treasures galore. You know, if I had looked for this album, I’m sure I never would have found it. A 12″ HotBiscuit. We looked at it and laughed. A friend and fellow music lover glanced over and said, “Oh, that’s a really good album!” “Really?” we said. “Yeah.” So we got it. I think it cost $1.

Hot Biscuit Album

Before long, Billy Bragg came out on stage and gave an epic performance. He performed his whole first album (from 30 years ago) to an appreciative crowd.

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg

To summarize: biscuits, friends, BBQ, biscuits, sunshine, a biscuit record album, and a happy crowd listening to fantastic music. This is what I love about Nashville.

New Find! Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento Cheese BISCUITS

Nashvillians take note. There is a new pimento cheese in town – Professor Bailey’s Spicy Pimento Cheese, to be specific.

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Sometimes, it pays to know people. This was one of those times. Tom Bailey, owner and head pimento-cheese maker for Professor Bailey’s Pimento Cheese, went to high school with my brother. When I heard about his new venture, I asked if I could get an advance sample. To my surprise, he showed up on my doorstep with a cooler full of goodies. Pimento Cheese, Pimento Cheese Gougeres, AND Pimento Cheese Biscuits. [He’ll soon be offering a pimento cheese mornay sauce, too.]

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese

The gougeres and biscuits came uncooked and frozen, so into the freezer they went. I wanted to save those for a leisurely weekend breakfast. I immediately opened up the pimento cheese container, though, and had a sample.

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese

Now, I grew up in the south – I’m actually a native Nashvillian, as is Tom. So I grew up with pimento cheese. My memory of it is as a kind of gloppy spread with something resembling cheese in it. Not the best of impressions. THIS pimento cheese, though? Professor Bailey’s Pimento Cheese? Totally different. Real cheese, clearly more than one kind, sharp, grated, just barely held together with a little mayo, and graced with enough jalapeño to give it a kick and that distinctive peppery flavor. One bite and I knew this was something different. But could I wait until the weekend for the biscuits?

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

It was hard, but I did manage to wait. When I finally took the biscuits out of the freezer and put them on the baking sheet my first thought was, “These are the cutest biscuits I’ve ever seen!” They even have these little hats on them. Precious. My second thought was, “I’m going to need more of these.” My third thought was, “They are SO cute!”

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Ok, I’ll get off of the cute subject. But they are. Cute.

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Anyway, I baked them up and they rose prfectly, lilting off to the side slightly, gaining even more personality. You can see how full of cheese they are. As is, they provide a perfect bite or two straight out of the oven. If you know me, though, you know I had to try a variety of accoutrements.

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Here is the sampling I prepared. Honey butter, bacon, sausage, and extra pimento cheese. Honey butter went wonderfully with this biscuit, because, well, honey butter goes with everything! The bacon, baked with pepper and brown sugar like I learned to do when making this recipe, was perfect. There was just enough sweet, salt, and pepper to enhance, rather than overwhelm, the flavor of the biscuit.

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

The sausage, while delicious, did overwhelm the biscuit, so was my least favorite combination. Finally, adding just a little pimento cheese as filling lent a creamy texture that was delightful. Overall,  my first and second choices would be to either have this biscuit plain – straight from the oven – or with bacon.

Are you ready for some pimento cheese and biscuits now? If so, you can find Tom at the Farmer’s Market  Thursday-Sunday. Professor Bailey’s products can also be found at Lazzaroli’s pasta shop in Germantown, which is a wonderful little shop. Apparently, they make pimento cheese ravioli, too. You might just see me there, because I am fresh out of pimento cheese!

Professor Bailey's Spicy Pimento Cheese Biscuits

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For more info, check out Professor Bailey’s Facebook page. His website is not up and running yet, but should be soon. And Chris Chamberlain did a great write-up in the Nashville Scene this week.

The Best Biscuit Sandwich Ever

Banana Biscuits

What to do with leftover Banana Biscuits?

I was alone in the house when I made them, which means, contrary to what one might think, I did not eat them all. I also happened to have a supply of leftover ham. It would not have occurred to me, under normal circumstances, to combine ham and banana. But something told me that it just might work. From that point on, I tried not to think too much.

Cooking is sometimes a little like sports – you have to get in the zone. Let your senses do the work – smell, taste, feel …. bake.

ham swiss butter mustard

Sometimes, if you are lucky, there will be magic. This was one of those times, if I do say so myself. The hint of banana, combined with the smoky ham and sweet/tangy mustard, is perfect. Make some of these for your next party or book club or just a leisurely weekend breakfast at home.

Ham Swiss Banana Biscuit Sandwich

>>> Click here to download a printable version.

Banana Ham Swiss Biscuit Sandwich

(aka The Best Biscuit Sandwich Ever)

Ingredients:

  • 6 large Banana Biscuits
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ lb ham, diced
  • 1 cup shredded good quality swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup Honey Baked Ham hickory mustard (or any honey mustard)
  • 4 T. butter, melted, divided into two
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scramble eggs and divide into six parts. Do not overcook the eggs.
  • Slice biscuits. Place bottoms of biscuits close together on parchment paper.
  • Combine mustard and onion powder with 2 T. of butter.
  • Spread mustard mixture on both tops and bottoms of biscuits.
  • Cover bottom halves of biscuits with half of swiss cheese and all of the ham.
  • Spread scrambled eggs over ham.
  • Top with swiss cheese.
  • Put tops of biscuits on top of cheese.
  • Brush tops of biscuits with remaining 2 T. melted butter mixed with poppy seeds.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese melts.
  • Remove from oven and run a knife between the biscuits to make sure they are separated.
  • Share them with someone you love.

Banana Biscuits with a Nutella Variation

Banana Biscuits with Nutella

I have a narrow window when it comes to bananas that are ripe enough but not too ripe. And I eat a banana almost every day. This means two things.

(1) I make frequent trips to the grocery store and bananas are always on my list. Always. Literally. I use a grocery list app on my phone and never clear bananas from the list.

And…

(2) There are frequently overripe bananas that must be dealt with, partly on purpose and partly by chance. I use them in smoothies and lately for this Pinterest recipe for easy banana “ice cream.”

This weekend I decided to try making Banana Buttermilk Biscuits.

Banana Biscuits

Where did this biscuit recipe come from?

It was inspired by this one from Dine and Dish, but I made a few modifications based on the ingredients I had on hand and my hope to punch up the flavors a bit. I particularly thought more vanilla flavor and banana would be nice.

Mashed banana with vanilla

Mashed banana with vanilla

Why choose this biscuit recipe?

I did not see a lot of options when it came to banana biscuits, so decided to go with this one and just vary a couple of things slightly.

Banana Biscuits

What is persnickety about this biscuit recipe?

This dough was really sticky! I did not end up putting in more banana, which was just as well. I don’t think I would have had any luck cutting out the biscuits if I had. I did add more vanilla.

Banana Biscuits

I also decided that I needed to add a variation. Since I am partial to the combination of Nutella and bananas, I went with that.

Nutella

I thought I should freeze the Nutella to make chunks of it, but I had read that Nutella does not freeze well. Perhaps because I was -ahem- using on off-brand, I had no trouble getting thin, frozen, little sheets of it. I layered these with the dough right before cutting it out.

Banana Biscuit Dough with Nutella

Banana Biscuit Dough with Nutella

Nutella on Dough

Nutella Folded in and Ready for the Oven

So how were the biscuits?

I have to say that these surprised me a bit. I had guessed that the Nutella variation would be my favorite, but found myself partial to the plain banana biscuit. Well, plain with honey butter! Because everything is better with honey butter! I made the biscuits huge so they were moist and fluffy inside with just enough banana flavor to enhance the buttermilk biscuit flavor.

Banana Biscuits with Honey Butter

Bottom line is that they were wonderful and you should go make them. Now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

How were the leftovers prepared?

Ahhh, these leftovers got special treatment. So special that I will be dedicating a whole post to what became The Best Biscuit Sandwich Ever. Stay tuned!

Banana Biscuits

>>> Click here for printable biscuit recipe.

Banana Biscuits (with Nutella variation)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups White Lilly Self-Rising flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • 1 very ripe banana mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix the first three dry ingredients.
  • Add Crisco to dry ingredients and rub with your fingers to make the Crisco break up into small, pea sized pieces.
  • Combine mashed banana, vanilla, and buttermilk
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture. Mix quickly with large spoon or hands, turning bowl and gently scooping the dry ingredients into the wet. Add more buttermilk, if needed, to make dough moist but not too wet. It will be somewhat sticky.
  • Sprinkle flour onto countertop or pastry board. Dump dough out of bowl onto flour. Sprinkle flour onto dough and rub onto hands. Knead a few times. Press dough together and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Fold dough in half. A pastry scraper can be really helpful here to lift up the dough.
  • Transfer dough to parchment paper. Press out to about 1/2 inch. Make into a rough rectangular shape. Using a pastry scraper, knife, spatula or other edge, cut dough into squares about 1 1/2 inches across. You do not need to move the dough after cutting.
  • Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until tops of biscuits are slightly browned. If you wish, take the biscuits out of the oven a couple of minutes before they are done and brush the tops of the biscuits with butter, then return them to the oven.
  • Remove from oven, let rest a few minutes, then break apart and eat!
  • Share with someone you love.

Nutella Variation

  • Use 1/4 cup or more of Nutella, depending on whether you are using a full or partial batch of the biscuits.
  • Spread thin sheet of Nutella onto wax paper and put into freezer for at least one hour before you begin making the biscuits.
  • Flatten dough to ¼ to ½ inch. Break up Nutella and spread the bits on the outer two thirds of the dough. [see photo above]
  • Fold dough towards the middle, like a letter folder into thirds. Transfer to cookie sheet, flatten dough slightly, and cut into squares.
  • Bake as directed.

Coffee Lunch Biscuit

I love it when an experience exceeds my expectations. It feels like a nice little surprise, warming up the day.

Coffee Lunch is the name. It’s a little place on the corner. Just close enough to the Music City Center (Nashville’s new convention center) and Cummins Station to be convenient for locals and visitors alike.

Coffee Lunch

I stopped in to meet a friend for coffee and was very surprised to see biscuit sandwiches on the menu. I knew they served lunch but was only expecting muffins and such (which they do have) for the breakfast hours. The biscuit selection was simple: meat, egg, cheese or some combination thereof on a biscuit.

I ordered the ham, egg, and cheese so that I would get the full effect. Well, I suppose I was expecting a smallish biscuit – “fast-food sized” for lack of a better description. What I got was truly a sandwich, larger than I could fit into my mouth, with a generous piece of ham that had been grilled, bringing out the savory smokiness.

Biscuit Sandwich

The biscuit itself was clearly homemade – no generic frozen biscuits here. Crispy on the outside and infused with garlic and some herb I never could identify. The flavors were subtle but very effective in combination with the fillings. Flaky and moist and, sadly, so huge that I could not eat it all.

Regardless, I enjoyed every bite that I did eat. So if you live in Nashville or happen to come here for a convention, look up Coffee Lunch for a latte and a delicious, biscuity snack.

National Biscuit Month – Top Five Biscuits

In honor of September being National Biscuit Month, I’ve created a list of …

“Wait, there is a National Biscuit Month?” you ask. Yep. That’s what I hear and I’m going with it.

So … I’ve created a list of the top five biscuit recipes I’ve tried since starting this blog. If you would like to make some biscuits and don’t know where to start, pick one of these and you can’t go wrong. Almost all of them are some combination of savory and sweet, with a little spice thrown in for good measure. They are in no particular order.

Buttermilk Yogurt

Yogurt Buttermilk Biscuits

So far, I’d have to say that this is my favorite recipe for “plain” biscuits. They are so light and fluffy and slightly tangy. Perfect by themselves and also an excellent vehicle for any herb or spice that you might want to add. They also turned out to be the perfect cake to use for Strawberry Shortcake with sweetened whipped cream.

Bacon, Brown Sugar

Bacon Brown Sugar Biscuit
This is the biscuit that completely redefined bacon for me. Plain bacon is good. Really good. But bacon that has been cooked with black pepper and brown sugar? Transcendant. Then you mix that into a biscuit? Crazy good food. That’s what it is.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit (Paige's Family Dinner Biscuit)

I love how the creator of these biscuits was so generous in sharing the recipe with me. These biscuits are mostly savory, with a bit of sweetness from the apple. Which is also a bit tart. Wonderful blending of flavors and textures in this one. I may have to make another batch while I still have some fresh basil in the garden.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin Biscuits

These are sweet, but not too sweet. So moist with the pumpkin, and slightly spicy, and a gorgeous color. Something for all the senses. I also love the way the sweet and spicy played off of the fine sausage that I paired with it. That made these magical.

Buffalo Blue Cheese

buffalo blue cheese biscuit

Because sometimes you just need Buffalo flavored . . . anything. These are a unique and tasty way to fulfill the craving.

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Now, go, make some biscuits, and let me know how they turned out. And, as always, share them with someone you love.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit (Paige’s Family Dinner Biscuit)

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit (Paige's Family Dinner Biscuit)

Luscious.

That’s what my friend said after I gave her half a dozen of these biscuits as part of her birthday present. There were other adjectives as well, but “luscious” was the subject line of the email she sent me, so that is the one I remember the best. She did not share them with her husband or son, but savored them privately over the course of the week.

Where did this biscuit recipe come from?

If you have not read my previous post, you might want to. The creator of this recipe, Matt Sandbank, was kind enough to give me permission to write about and share his award-winning (International Biscuit Festival) recipe in this blog. When I opened his email, I was really excited about the combination of ingredients, especially the fresh basil, since I have masses of it in my garden. Score!

Basil

These herb scissors are my favorite new kitchen tool.

After my excitement about the chance meeting with this biscuit aficionado and his recipe, I just hoped the biscuits would be good and that I would not botch the making of them!

What is persnickety about this biscuit recipe?

Strangely enough, it was the apple. I ended up making these twice. The first time, M. was assisting. I asked him to chop the apple into small pieces. That he did. Very small pieces. Seemed like a great idea, but the apple sort of got lost in the final product.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar

See how tiny those apple bits are?

The second time I made them, I was careful to create nice sized chunks of apple. That time, you absolutely knew when you were biting into an apple chunk.

The other thing I found really interesting is while the recipe uses self-rising flour, it also has added baking powder. This is the first time I’ve run across a recipe that adds more baking powder. I wonder if that made them more fluffy than they would be otherwise?

Apple, Basil, Cheddar

Larger pieces of apple this time.

What changes were made in the making of this biscuit recipe?

As few as possible. I wanted to represent this recipe well and get as close as I could to how Matt would have made them. I was out of corn meal so did not dust the baking sheet with it for either attempt. That is the only alteration I made to ingredients.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar

Look at all those goodies mixed with the flour.

I used good quality sharp cheddar that I grated myself. Matt specified a Granny Smith apple. I have always loved their tart crispness, so was happy to comply.

The first time I made these I even cut them into rounds and spread them out on the baking sheet, as directed. The second time, though, I reverted to rectangles baked very close together. It has become such a habit to make biscuits this way that I did not even think about it until they were done.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit Dough (Paige's Family Dinner Biscuit)

So how were the biscuits?

I am so happy to report that I can understand how they won an award. This recipe is now high on my list of favorites. They were so moist and the basil lent a stunning burst of fresh flavor that worked perfectly with the cheese and the mild sweetness of the apple.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit (Paige's Family Dinner Biscuit)

As I said, the apple got kind of lost in the first batch, but I do think it is what made the biscuit so moist, even the next day. I may use that to my advantage in future biscuit recipes.

I took the second batch to a Labor Day cookout and there was a lot of excitement around the biscuits. First, they are just so pretty with the ribbons of basil and melted cheese and slightly toasted tops. And then you taste them. Divine.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit (Paige’s Family Dinner Biscuit)

I served them with honey butter and also a peppery, spicy honey butter that could have been a bit spicier. Both worked well with the savory-sweet biscuits.

As the evening wore on, there was this one biscuit that kept getting cut in half and one half eaten, then cut in half again and so on. You know, how no one wants to be responsible for taking the last bit? Finally, I grabbed the last bite and finished them off myself.

Apple, Basil, CheddarBiscuit (Paige's Family Dinner Biscuit)

How were the leftovers prepared?

I’m going to have to start making larger batches or not sharing them so liberally if I want leftover biscuits to play with. There was just one biscuit left the next day from the first batch. I nibbled on it over the course of a couple of days. It was really good – even at room temperature.

Nothing was left from the second batch. I had piled all the dough into one pan, cut it in place, then took the whole pan to the party, so that I could easily heat them up there.

The final word? Make these biscuits. Now. Tonight. This weekend. Then share them with someone you love.

Apple, Basil, Cheddar Biscuit (Paige's Family Dinner Biscuit)

>>>Click here for printable biscuit recipe.

Paige’s Family Dinner Biscuits (from Matt Sandbank)

Ingredients (in order of use):

2 cups White Lilly self-rising flour

1 and 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

6 tbs unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fresh basil, cut finely

1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 cup buttermilk, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup measurements

a pinch or two of corn meal

Method of preparation:

  1. mix flour and baking powder together thoroughly
  2. sprinkle cubes of butter across the top of the flour/baking powder mixture, then use a “pinching” gesture to break down all of the butter cubes into pea-sized or smaller chunks
  3. immediately move flour/baking powder/butter mixture to a cold place while preparing ingredients for step 4
  4. mix cheddar cheese, basil, and apple together
  5. make a hollow in the center of the flour/butter, then add cheese/apple/basil, and then mix evenly
  6. reform a hollow and add 3/4 cup buttermilk, using the 1/4 cup in reserve if needed flour hands and move dough onto a floured cutting board. Flour the top of the dough and fold twice in half before pressing out into a sheet. Dip biscuit cutter into flour and cut out biscuits, taking time to relish the sensation of the cutter slicing through chunks of apple as you do so.
  7. sprinkle corn meal on an oven tray and arrange biscuits with an inch or so between them on the tray
  8. bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes, rotating oven tray at the eight-minute mark.