Buttered Pecan Biscuits
I’m not sure I know how to meditate. I don’t sit still and close my eyes.
To me, meditation requires a bowl of flour, a handful of cold cubed butter, buttermilk, and a biscuit cutter.
Breaking the butter down into the flour, sugar, and salt helps ease my mind and clear my thoughts.
I can feel the butter soften and the flour transform in fat. The pinch of nutmeg is subtle but fragrant, and to me… it just feels sublime.
Buttermilk is part of the meditation too. Of course it is. I love the smell of buttermilk. It’s promising… with character. There’s peace in that.
There’s also the clear moment of cracking an egg against a hard surface once, with conviction.
Bourbon is a meditation in itself especially when combined with vanilla beans and transformed into extract.
The standing and mixing, patting and rolling, slicing, brushing, and baking…. totally my jam, my meditation, my 2nd breakfast.
Now let’s add buttered pecans.
Buttered pecans are just as easy as you’d want them to be.
Pecans are roasted until fragrant. Butter is melted. Pecans and butter brown together over a low flame. Add a dash of salt and huzzah! Buttered Pecans. Pecans buttered.
Cold butter flakes combined with flour and sugar, baking powder and baking soda… you know the drill.
Buttermilk, buttered pecans, and homemade (extra bourbon-y) vanilla extract. It’s all a very good situation.
The biscuit dough is shaggy. We have it just where we want it. Cold butter bits. Lots of nuts. Moist (not wet) dough.
The dough is formed into a disk, about 1-inch thick, and biscuits are cut into rounds.
These little dough treats are brushed with buttermilk and sprinkled with an aggressive amount of turbinado sugar.
Golden brown, tender, flakey, and fluffy. Just how we want our biscuits.
These biscuits are on the sweet side, but also balanced with salt and earthy nuts. The brown butter adds a dreamy depth to this biscuits. I like these biscuits paired with butter, cherry jam, and a few slices of ham.
I love you more than biscuits.
Buttered Pecan Biscuits
makes about 10 biscuits
1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) cup cold unsalted butter, but into small cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing the biscuits
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecan pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans and stir to toast until butter is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before incorporating into the dough.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter (using your fingers or a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until some of the butter flakes are the size of peas and some are the size of oat flakes. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat lightly with a fork. Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough. Fold in the buttered pecans.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 10 times. Roll or pat out into a 1-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds using a round cutter or cut into 2×2-inch squares. Reshape and roll dough to create more biscuits with excess scraps. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm. Biscuits are best the day they’re made, and though they can be frozen and lightly reheated in the oven if you need a future treat.