• 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, sliced

Heaven is a warm, fresh from the oven, sweet potato biscuits slathered with homemade apple butter on a cold, winter morning. Well, at least it is to me! I make pretty good biscuits. They are fluffy, tender, and buttery and usually well-received by my family and friends, but nothing prepared me for the level of sheer joy that would come from adding one simple ingredient to my buttermilk biscuit recipe. Our friends were coming over for brunch and I was planning to make biscuits and a sweet potato dish, but I just ran out of time. I wondered if I could combine the two. So while they were knocking at the door. I microwaved a sweet potato. Quickly cooled it in the freezer and then added it to my dough. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

About 15 minutes later, I nervously pulled the sweet potato biscuits from the oven and plated them with some of my apple butter. I can’t even tell you what those biscuits tasted like because I didn’t have one. They were all gone. In less than a few minutes, no less. Everyone said that they were the highlight of the meal. I actually got texts and phone calls requesting them whenever we visited Texas. A couple of days later wondering what all of the fuss was about, I remade them. Let me tell you, these sweet potato biscuits are delicious. The sweet potato makes them so flavorful and moist and really plays well against the tang of the buttermilk. Adding a little apple butter makes them almost sinful. Our family is hooked so we usually have them at least 3 times a month.

My Christmas gift to you is the recipe for my favorite absolutely perfect sweet potato biscuits which I hope you will serve to your family and friends.

Recipe

  1. Prepare pan. Preheat oven to 425°. Grease round cast iron skillet with butter. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use a baking sheet. To prepare the baking sheet just flip it over and cover the top with foil and parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cook sweet potatoes. Place sweet potato in the microwave and press the potato button. You may need to run it twice if the potato is not soft enough. If you do not have a potato button, rinse potato, pierce the skin 6 times and place a potato on a plate. Cook 8 -10 minutes or until soft. Let the potato cool until you are able to be easily hold it.
  3. Mash potatoes. When cooled, peel sweet potato on a freezer-safe plate, sprinkle on brown sugar and mash until smooth. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool enough to mix with the other ingredients. Putting the hot potato into the biscuit dough will start to melt the butter before the biscuits start to bake leading to biscuits that don’t rise. When cool, stir sweet potatoes into buttermilk. Set aside.
  4. Prepare dry ingredients. While the potatoes are cooling sift flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together into a medium size bowl. Quickly whisk to combine.
  5. Make dough. The easiest way to make biscuit dough is using a food processor. You can also make this recipe using a pastry cutter or your hands. Here’s how:
    1. Food Processor – Assemble machine with chopping blade. Add dry ingredients and butter. Pulse until the butter is incorporated into small pieces. Add buttermilk mixture. Pulse until the dough combines. It will start to clump together and pull away from the sides when ready. This should only take 10 or so pulses.
    2. Pastry Cutter – Add butter to the dry ingredients and dip pastry cutter into flour. I like to lightly cover the butter with flour and press the pastry cutter down while moving around the bowl until the butter is incorporated. Pour in buttermilk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined.
    3. Hand – Add butter to dry mixture, dip hands into a bit of the flour, and begin to incorporate the butter by snapping fingers together until all combined. Pour in buttermilk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined.
  6. Make biscuits. Pour dough onto well-floured board or countertop. Sprinkle flour over mixture. Gently knead dough for a few seconds. Use the envelope method to fold the dough. Roll into a rectangle, fold into thirds, and then roll into another rectangle. Repeat once more before cutting. Don’t worry if you  don’t have a rolling pin, you can also just use you lightly floured hands to press the dough into a rectangle. Next, dip your biscuit cutter or tall glass into flour and cut biscuits. You may be tempted to turn your cutter like you see on tv, but don’t do it. Turning the dough stops biscuits from rising. Place your cut biscuits into the skillet or prepared pan.
  7. Bake. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and top with sliced butter