Can I just be honest for a second? I do okay in the kitchen. I had never really encountered too many challenges until attempting to make homemade biscuits. I could make cakes, yeast rolls, cookies, pies, and just about anything, but biscuits proved to be my achilles heel. No matter what I did, i just could not get it right. I remember as a child, looking on while my mother would whip up batches of biscuits at a time. She made enough to feed an army, but there were only 4 of us, so I'm still not sure why she'd make so many. Just about every time she made biscuits, it was my job to pour the buttermilk over the top of her hand as she gently coaxed the ingredients together like an artist creating a masterpiece. I would pour until she said to stop. I'd always ask, "how do you know when the dough is perfect?" and she'd always reply, "You can feel it in the texture of the dough. It shouldn't feel too heavy; it should be light and fluffy." To me, it looked like a big gooey mess, reminiscent of one of my playdough experiments gone wrong. Anyway, I was fascinated because she never measured, but the biscuits would come out perfect EVERY TIME Now if you purchased my book, Modern Vegan Cuisine; you would know that these times spent in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother were the basis of my desire to learn to cook. My life's mission at the time was to become a doctor who saved lives and cooked for the world (looks at current position in life and thinks, "Hmmmmm, I'm not so far off." lol).
Fast forward, I get married and I decide I'm going to surprise my husband for breakfast and bake up the biscuits that he had come to know and love through visiting my mom for Saturday breakfast. I knew my biscuits would not be like hers, but if I could at least come close I would feel very accomplished. I mix, I bake, I butter, I serve, we begin to eat. We both bite into the biscuit and what was once a very rapid chewing motion simultaneously slows and we both look down at the biscuits we're holding and begin to do that thing babies do with their mouths when they don't like something😝. I say to my husband, "Contrary to what this may taste like, I'm really not trying to kill you." to which he replies, "I believe you, but were you trying to break my teeth with these hockey pucks?". We let out a heartfelt laugh. No time for hurt feelings; I appreciate honesty and make a mental note that biscuits just aren't my thing. Since my mom refused to measure, I was hopeless.
I had given up on biscuits, heck Pillbury did a good enough job so i employed them for years to take care of biscuit making😋. UNTIL ONE DAY... the heavens opened up and delivered me a biscuit making angel named Lolita Files. I was scrolling through one of the feeds on Facebook, and I came across this picture of pure biscuit bliss, AND she posted her recipe. Now, I'm not the most excitable person in the world, but THIS...THIS discovery made my heart go pitter patter. There weren't many ingredients in her recipe; it seemed simple enough. Dare I try it??? DARE I??? Of course I do. *whispers* But you can best believe I was home alone so I could discard any evidence of failure, should that be the case. I went on to make the biscuits and VIOLA!!! Perfection! Fluffy, tasty, goodness in my mouth; it was just short of a miracle. I know you might think I'm going a bit overboard here in my recount, but you weren't there to taste those hockey pucks. From that day on, I secretly held a special place in my heart for Lolita, for she had helped to overcome biscuit phobia with one simple post on Facebook. After you make these biscuits, eat them, and go to drop to your knees to thank me, remember Lolita; she's the one who started this. Lo, if you're reading this, I love you!
As for my mom, I finally forced her to make a batch of biscuits and measure what she put in them because it would be a shame for the world not to know the goodness I experiences on most Saturday mornings. A few days later she sent me a text message with the ingredients and method. I made them, I loved them, and I decided I would take a bit from each recipe and create my own. I hereby present to you:
MAPLE GLAZED BISCUITS
*warning, food comas have been known to occur after eating these*
2 1/2 cups cashew milk
2 tbsp distilled vinegar
6 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup organic sugar
5 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
Non stick cooking spray
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
(place on stovetop over medium heat and whisk until melted)
Preheat oven to 350° and place 2 - 9in round pans in oven while you mix the biscuits. In a separate bowl, stir together cashew milk and vinegar and allow to sit for five minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Drop shortening into flour mixure by the tablespoon, then add cashew buttermilk and use hands to bring dough together. If you'd prefer not to have a goopy mess all over your hands, a wooden spoon will do just fine. Mix until dough just comes together; do not over mix. The dough may be slightly wet, don't worry, this is normal. Turn dough out onto floured surface and sprinkle with a liberal amount of flour. Use a rolling pin to roll dough out to about 3/4in thick; dough should feel fluffly as you roll it. Use biscuit cutter or the mouth of a glass to punch out biscuits. Be sure to dip the rim of the cutter or the glass into flour before each cut to prevent sticking. Remove pans from oven and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place biscuits in pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits spring back when touched. For added color, place biscuits under broiler for 60 seconds. As soon as you remove biscuits from oven, use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the biscuts with a liberal amount of the maple glaze. Serve warm!