GranMa’s Skillet Biscuits

Welcome! Its Day 4 of our Birthday Celebration here at Simple Plate. Read on to enter and don’t forget to enter the first three days giveaways here, here and here.

TGIF!!!  I’m looking forward to the weekend! How about you? Weekends in THIS southern home bring all sorts of great breakfast treats. Sundays bring on the biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs, and occasionally a side of hashbrowns.  And no, as much as I’d like to say someone else gets the joy of whipping this up, a la Waffle House, it is I who brings on the bacon! I bring home a little too!

We’ve changed our eating habits significantly (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone  here).  Uncured bacon, organic eggs  and veggies have replaced the hormel and standard fare we were used to. But the flavors? They’re even more yummy! What has not been replaced are the staples of a southern breakfast.  Biscuits. I have such warm memories of my GranMa making homemade bread and biscuits. And I’ve taken her skillet biscuits recipe and updated it for today’s cook.

I challenge you to make these super easy, homemade biscuits  and to tell me they’re not the BEST you’ve ever tasted.  I promise you’ll not ever reach for the doughboy variety again!  Go Ahead, grab a print and let me know how MUCH you love these!

 

GranMa’s Sunday Biscuits
 
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Deep South Goodness
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups organic white wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs or cornmeal. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.)
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir with wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. The dough will be Very sticky.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times.
  5. Press with your floured hands into a 1-inch thick round.
  6. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough.
  7. Place scrupulously clean iron skillet into oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Once preheated, melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet
  8. Place biscuits into hot buttered skillet so that they just touch. (use a potholder or mitt to remove skillet from oven its gonna be HOT)
  9. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting if necessary.
  10. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown (they’ll be kinda high) (watch closely so that the bottoms don’t burn!)
  11. Allow biscuits to cool slightly in the skillet then remove with a flat spatula to serving plate or basket.
Notes
I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached Flour and Domino Organic Sugar both are available at Fresh Markets, Whole Foods and online. If you need a Gluten Free Biscuit, look at Bobs Red Mill Recipes.

 

 

Guess What I’m giving away today? I love my iron skillets, I’ve begged for a variety of them at Christmas, Mother’s Day and my birthday. I’ve lucked on to a number of them at estate sales, garage sales and flea markets (most in pretty poor condition, I’ll post more about those soon and teach you to clean cast iron) . I want YOU to experience the ONE tool that EVERY southern cook must have in her arsenal. A cast iron skillet! So today I’m giving  away this

The perfect size for scrambled eggs, cornbread or for getting a great sear on a chicken breast or 2. This 6″ preseasoned beauty will be a welcome addition to your cookware. No need for weeks of seasoning, (its already done for you). And this small wonder is from the folks at Lodge Cast Iron Cookware in Tennessee.

So here are the Rules. Yes we have to have rules, ‘yall!

1. Leave A Comment On This Post telling me about your Weekend Breakfast Traditions.

2. See #1

Of course I’d love it if ‘yall would pin this post and folllow me there. And I’d love it even more if you’d tweet and facebook this post and follow me there too! But those aren’t mandatory.

And don’t forget to enter the first three days giveaways here, here and here. Oh and there are some great recipes on those pages too!

This contest will end on April 17, 2012 at midnight and I’ll draw a random comment number and announce the winner on April 18th. Good luck ‘yall!

disclaimer: I have no material relationship with the folks at Bob’s Redmill or at Lodge Cookware (even though I’d love to)  I simply use these products and I want you to fall in love with them as I have.

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED

Super Secret Ginger Cookies

Over the past few days the alarms have sounded more than a few times as friends have asked for some of  my specialty cookie recipes. I’ve not been too proned to share the old family cookies, but if I don’t who will? And now since most of the old folks have left our earthly home,  I think its time to share some goodies.. Yesterday was one of those days, and my dear friend Audrey needed some quick and easy cookies to bring for a party at her daughter’s gymnastics class party today.  I’d just made a few dozen of these lovelies and the recipe is so simple  I’ll share it here too. Audrey said she thought she’d been given the holy grail of cookie recipes..but truthfully, this one was passed on to me by my bestest friend Sissy’s, Aunt Sis.  We must have been 8th or 9th graders and it somehow got into our minds to make gingerbread houses.  Hours later and covered in royal icing, our houses appeared for all to see (I wish I had a picture).  More than slightly lopsided, we thought they were beautiful!  The recipe below can be used for making gingerbread houses (you’ll have to make your own template or download this one from Martha Stewart or Paula’s made it easy with  this

Over the years, I’ve learned some things about baking, burned my share of cookies and tweaked some recipes to get the results I want, so here goes..
There are several variations in the preparation below..read through carefully. If I confused you anywhere, feel free to let me know through my contact page, I’ll be happy to help. The picture above is the last variation..my favorite and by far the easiest!

Super Secret Ginger Cookies
 
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Soft, sparkly cookies. Perfect for a holiday party!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: about 2 doz
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2¼ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
Simple Decorations, optional:
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup colored or crystal sanding sugar granules
Instructions
For Cookies:
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth using an electric mixer.
  2. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
  3. Sift all the remaining dry ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until a dough forms.
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in waxed paper wrap.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 4 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line cookie sheets.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Divide dough in half and put on a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s about ⅛-inch thick. While rolling, flour the work surface and rolling pin, as needed.
  8. Cut out desired cookie shapes with cookie cutters.
  9. Transfer cookies to a greased cookie sheet, spacing them 1-inch apart. (Yield depends on the size of your cutters.)
  10. Lightly brush cookies with milk and sprinkle with sugar granules, as desired.
  11. Bake until firm and edges begin to darken, 10 to 14 minutes.
  12. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
This is my favorite way to make these.
  1. Roll the dough into 2 logs that are about 2-inches high and 1-foot long.
  2. Wrap them in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Once thoroughly chilled, slice the cookies into ½-inch thick rounds and roll them as balls into sanding(coarse) sugar.
  5. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. watch them beginning at 8 min, bottoms should be browned tops cracked but cookies will be soft, cool on rack and let pans cool between batches.(Yield on this method is about 2 dozen.)
Notes

The chilling and rolling and sanding sugar make these crackle and crumble on top and ever so beautiful!

 

Southern Christmas Fruitcake

This fruitcake recipe has been around our house since Noah was a first mate. More cake than fruit, and the added Grand Mariner makes it extra yummy. Might want to keep the cake away from the small ones. They’ll love the fruitcake cookies from earlier! Mind you, this ain’t ya mamma’s fruitcake and certainly not the one you’ll find in the grocery store. You know the one, the little bricks from the Claxton Company are southern staples, but this is the real deal and good enough to convert even the staunchest  anti-fruitcake member of the family!

Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup:

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 pound mixed dried fruits, such as blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins, and chopped apricots
  • 1/2 pound, (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces almond paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier, or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

Directions

Make a simple-syrup by combining the sugar and water in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.


Combine the dried fruits in a large mixing bowl. Pour the simple-syrup over them, toss to coat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve the syrup.


Cream the butter, sugar and almond paste together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at low speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat until the mixture is fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing in between each addition on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add 1/4 cup of the Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate.


Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium-size mixing bowl and blend well. Add this mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, each time mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter will be thick.


Add the warm fruit and all of the nuts a little at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Lightly grease a bundt pan with butter or non-stick baking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until golden brown and the top springs back when touched, about 45 to 50 minutes (turning the pan to ensure even browning after 30 minutes.)


Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan, then remove and continue to cool upside-down on wire racks.


Make tiny holes with a toothpick randomly on the rounded end of the cake. Combine the remaining simple syrup with the remaining 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier and the bourbon. Wrap the cake in a layer of cheesecloth and pour 1/4 cup of the syrup over the top of each cake. Store in a plastic zip bag for 3 or 4 days until the cake is slightly stale. Sprinkle syrup over cakes once every 2 to 3 days until all of the syrup is used. Let the cakes age for up to 3 weeks before eating.

For the Whiskey Sauce:

3 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup bourbon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Combine 2 3/4 cups of the cream with the bourbon and sugar in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium-heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.


In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Add this to the cream-and-bourbon mixture and simmer stirring often, until the mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm with the fruitcake.


The sauce may be stored, after it has cooled, in an airtight container for 24 hours. When ready to serve, warm over low heat.

You Won’t Believe This Green Tomato Pound Cake Recipe

Southern Women have always been admired for their ingenuity and frugal ways. Just about this time each year when I was growing up, I spent a few months with my grand parents. They were truck farmers (they took their home grown veggies and fresh laid chicken eggs to the farmers market every day) Tomatoes were filling the vines, weighing down the plants, and fried green tomatoes were a compliment to almost every meal. But, granny had a special way with dessert, and here’s a wonderful “pound” cake with a unique ingredient. You’ll love it!

You’ll need a large bunt type or tube pan for this recipe. You probably will have some left over batter, so have a couple of small loaf pans ready just in case. Be sure to butter and flour your pans well. Also, this recipe calls for REAL butter. I’ve not tried it with margarine or any substitutes. Go ahead and splurge. Its worth it!

Green Tomato Pound Cake
 
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups diced green tomatoes
  • 1 cup golden raisins (soak until plump)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  6. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well (batter will be soft).
  7. Stir in tomatoes, raisins and walnuts.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
  12. Spoon Browned Butter icing over cake .
Notes

Browned Butter Icing:
In a medium saucepan over low heat melt ½ cup (1 stick) butter.
Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until butter is lightly browned.
Whisk in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

 

 

Somebody told me Paula Deen loves this recipe and has used it on her Food Network program. Well, she’s a  good southern woman, so I imagine it was handed down to her just as it was to me.