Here's a post I started in California but obviously didn't finish. Hence the out-of-date prose. It does the job though, I suppose, so I'm posting it as is, but actually wrapped up this time.
Hello from California! Here's a simple little recipe for you to enjoy while I am playing bocce ball, shaking the booty at my cousin's wedding, eating my mom's and sisters' home cooking, and smelling the fresh salty air in Aptos, California. I made these two weeks before I left Minnesota and they are quite good and versatile, which is why I am not sure whether to consider them biscuits or scones. The original recipe characterizes them as "biscuits" and indeed they are biscuits but they are also so much more. Which is where the scone thing comes in. I just couldn't put them in a box! So, once you make these you will think of a hundred things you can eat them with from honey-butter (scones) to chili (biscuits). We ate them warm with butter the first day and then sandwiched spicy black bean burgers in them the next day. The rest are in the freezer, waiting to be devoured when we return from our trip.
Here's a picture of what makes them so good. (Guess what - it's not the spelt flour!)
Here's a picture of how good they look right out of the oven.
And here's what the process looked like - note bottom right features a black bean burger sandwich. Bottom left shows my baby-crying-so-I'm-not-going-to-bother-melting-the-butter shortcut. (See recipe.)
Spelt-Sweet Potato [Biscuits/Scones]
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: 12 biscuit/scones (FYI: about 150 calories each)
1 large or 2 small to medium sweet potatoes
1 ¾ cups spelt flour (or whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack on lower shelf.
To make the sweet potato puree, wash sweet potatoes well and puncture with a fork all over. (No need to peel them.) Wrap each sweet potato in a paper towel and microwave on high for 4-7 minutes, depending on how big they are - the goal is a well-cooked, easy-to-mash sweet potato. Once finished, allow them to cool enough to be handled, and then mash them with a fork, potato masher, or using a food processor or blender. Add a tablespoon of water to get a smooth consistency, if necessary.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. With your hands or a fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. In a separate small bowl, whisk together sweet potato purée and yogurt; stir into flour mixture until combined. (Alternatively, pulse the dry ingredients a few times in your food processor. Add the blended sweet potatoes and yogurt and process until a sticky dough forms.)
Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup or a large ice cream scoop, scoop six equal portions of batter and place on Silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat process on a second baking sheet if you have one (or just wait until the first batch has been baked to start second batch). Brush each biscuit with melted butter (or, if your baby is crying and you're in a hurry, place a tiny dollop of cold butter on top of each one as depicted above). Bake until golden, rotating once for even baking, 18-20 minutes.
Notes: These freeze well in a freezer bag. If you want to use them for sandwiches, I suggest making six larger ones rather than twelve small ones, and gently shaping them into more of a circle with floured hands. If you go this route, bake them for an additional 3-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on them after the first 18 minutes.