I never make biscuits simply because my grandmother made the most incredible biscuits. She was a hard act to follow with her box of Bisquick. The secret, she said, was to add more milk than the directions called for. Those biscuits, along with strawberry freezer jam, were the stuff of dreams.
So when my eldest granddaughter asked for help making her mother a batch of "Mother's Day Eve" biscuits, I couldn't refuse and went looking for a recipe. My first stop was Smitten Kitchen, an amazing blog. She is meticulous to detail and tweaking, much like our Rose, until she gets a recipe just right. When I saw the recipe for these biscuits, I remembered the Whipped Cream Cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes and how much we all liked it. Well, let me say, whipped cream in biscuits is it's equal.
These biscuits are incredibly light and fluffy. They nearly fall apart slashed with butter and jam. Easy to make really is an understatement. Which leads me to believe, with the option of adding sugar, these would be great for berry shortcake. The only adaption I did was sifting the flour for more accurate measuring. Rose is a good teacher!
Adapted from James Beard’s American Cookery
The original recipe has you brush your baking sheet with melted butter (and increases the amount by two tablespoons) but for whatever reason, the butter not covered by biscuits just got smoky in my oven so I’m voting for you to just line your sheets with parchment. If you find dipping the biscuits in butter difficult (hard to grasp if the dough is soft), just brush them generously instead.
Made about 10 biscuits, perhaps a dozen if I had been stricter about the height and scrap-usage
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little. (I ended up using two additional tablespoons, or half the unused cream.)
Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip the top of each round in melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze for future use. [Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.]