I love making muffins and cookies and cakes. And brownies. And bread. Who am I kidding, if it goes in the oven, I’m in love!
But every once in awhile, an odd sort of inspiration strikes. This week was an example of it and I think I’ve invented my new favorite breakfast treat.
Typically, I’m much more of a sweet person than a savory person. In the a.m. I’m all about pastries and fruit rather than tofu or tempeh. But occasionally I do like some biscuits and gravy.
But I says to myself, I says, “What if they were sweet biscuits and gravy?”
Now, before the idea of sweet “gravy” scares you off, imagine this: lightly sweet and tender, moist biscuits speckled with tart cranberries and orange zest, smothered in a thick vanilla cream “gravy”… now tell me that doesn’t sound AMAZING?! Because it is!
The combination of cranberries and orange zest just says winter to me. This dish would be a perfect Christmas/Chanukah/Festivus breakfast and comes together much quicker than cinnamon rolls, Fronch toast or other more complicated treats, though it also stands on its own as a solid dessert as well. The biscuits are definitely sweet-kissed biscuits, not the weird sugary scone-pucks so often seen in the US. And the vanilla “gravy”… sublime!
Holy Holly Biscuits and Sweet Gravy
2/3 cup organic sugar
2 tbsp. plus 2 teas cornstarch
2 cups milk of choice (the higher the fat content, the thicker it will be)
1-1/2 teas. good quality vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teas. baking powder
2 teas. sugar
1/2 cup margarine, cold
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk of choice
1 tbsp. orange zest
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
Powdered sugar to “flour” work surface
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
To make the “gravy”, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and whisk until well combined. Whisk in milk and cook over medium-high heat to a boil, while whisking. Lower to a simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 5–7 minutes. Add vanilla and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and pour sauce into a bowl. Let chill in fridge or freezer for 10–15 minutes or until it is a bit more set, but still warm.
To make the biscuits, in the bowl of a food processor (or a regular bowl), combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse in the margarine until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Alternately, use the back of a fork or pastry cutter to blend in margarine. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, milk and zest. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Gently mix in the cranberries.
Use the powdered sugar to “flour” your work area and turn out the biscuit dough onto it. Roll out the dough to a 3/4 inch thickness and cut out into 2 1/2-3 inch biscuits. Place biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, until they’ve risen and are golden on the edges.
Serve the biscuits warm and smothered in the vanilla gravy. A side of tempeh bacon would be amazing!
Makes: 12-14 biscuits
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