New Find! Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuits

I almost missed it. I was in the frozen aisle, casually reviewing the biscuit options. There was something different – this little unassuming bag that did not seem to belong next to the flashy corporate packaging of the Pillsbury and Sister Schubert offerings. Could it be?

Granny Hester's

Ok – let me back up a little. I don’t go to just one grocery store. In fact, if I add them up, I’ve been to over 15 different grocery stores just in Nashville in the last few years. Oh my. I’ve never counted before. That is a lot of stores.

Anyway, this is partly because the little grocery store nearest where I live is tiny and crowded and has not had the best reputation. When I first moved to the east side of town nine years ago, I was afraid to go to this store after dark. Aside from the security issues, the selection was very limited and the produce unreliable. It has improved a lot over the years but is still small. So I got into the habit of trying out different grocery stores in different parts of town. I go grocery shopping on a whim, just because I happen to be out with friends or visiting my mother in a nicer part of town where there is more than one spacious, clean, and fully stocked store.

Because I really like grocery shopping! I always have. I like walking up and down the aisles looking at the incredible variety of products. I like seeing what is new and pondering the use of the more obscure items in the international sections. I mourn the loss of discontinued favorites while i rejoice in the introduction of the new.

Given all that, it should come as no surprise that every time I pass the biscuit sections of a store, whether refrigerated, fresh, or frozen, I am alert and on the lookout for something new.

Last week, after having a lovely afternoon visit with my mother, I went to Publix. I was in the frozen aisle, just casually reviewing the biscuit options. Then I saw it. This little package that was almost obscured by the Pillsbury and Sister Schubert offerings. Could it possibly be biscuits?

Granny Hester's

I opened the case and pulled out this little plastic bag with a picture of someone’s grandmother on it. Granny Hester, to be specific. There were six orange disks inside. Sweet potato biscuits! I felt like I had found a pot of gold.

I baked them over the weekend. They did not rise very much but that seemed to be due to the large proportion of sweet potatoes and relatively small amount of flour.

Sweet Potato Biscuit with butter

They were quite sweet and we definitely did not need any of the strawberry jam I had pulled out of the fridge.

They were great with chicken sausage, although a spicier sausage would have been an even better foil for the sweet.

Sweet Potato Biscuit with sausage

The next day I did the Toast Test. I split the one leftover biscuit (yes, only one was left) and put a healthy dollop of butter on each side. You have to put enough butter on them – don’t skimp! Then they went into the toaster oven which was preheated to about 375 degrees. I toasted them for at least 12 minutes, maybe 15. I think that is the key to the best crispy, crunchy, toasty biscuits – cooking slowly in an oven that is not too hot.

Oh. My. Word. These biscuit halves were transformed from good biscuits into caramelized crispy shards of sweet potato perfection. They were like candy. The only problem is that there were not enough of them.

Toasted Sweet Potato Biscuit

Bottom line? I really liked these. But rather than buy them again, I’m feeling inspired to make my own next time. It will be fun to see if I can meet the Granny Hester standard.


Mystery Biscuit

I didn’t plan for it to happen. We were actually thinking of going hiking. Then there were biscuits. And the Piggly Wiggly. IMG_0670

Ok, wait, let me start at the beginning. We were away for the weekend in an area called the Cumberland Plateau. On Saturday we’d gone on a lovely hike to Greeter Falls, one of my favorite places. On Sunday, we figured out where the trailhead was for the waterfall that the cabin owners had said was a “must see.” It was in the town of Gruetli-Laager, TN.

Now, I used to spend a lot of time in this area of Tennessee and the only thing I knew about Gruetli-Laager is that they have a Piggly Wiggly. So as we drove and the rain started coming down, I thought to myself, “At least we can go to the Piggly Wiggly.”

I put the Piggly Wiggly into the map on my phone and watched our progress. We slowly got closer but it seemed to take longer than expected. At one point, I thought I saw a few buildings ahead and cried out, “We’re almost there!”

“Where?!” he said, excitedly.

“I don’t know, but we must be getting close to something!” And we laughed.IMG_0671

Anyway, hiking was definitely out of the question, but the Piggly Wiggly was open and warm and dry. We perused the shelves, marveling at the humongous (truly) cans of turnip greens and various cuts of meat we had never seen anywhere before.

Then we saw them. It was a very simple package. Easy to miss if you did not know what you were looking for. Just a stack of frozen biscuits in a plastic bag. The most basic of nutritional info and no other labeling whatsoever. No brand. Not even a distributor location. I had to get them.IMG_0655

The next weekend I baked some of them up. That’s how you say it, you know. “Bake them up.” Just look at how they turned out! IMG_0663

Those simple little disks rose into these fabulous fluffy, tasty biscuits! Amazing.IMG_0664

The next day, I did the toasted biscuit test. I slathered them in butter and baked them for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. They just browned a little at the edges. I put some Maple Cinnamon Button on one of them. Ahhh. Look how yummy. IMG_0678I have to admit, though, that they were not as good as I had hoped when they had cooled later that day. But I have some other biscuits that are perfect as leftover, leftover toasted biscuits. But that’s a post for another day.