Easter festive buttermilk biscuits. The easiest way to make Hot Cross Buns are these biscuits with dried currants, lemon zest, and a quick cream cheese frosting.
For the Biscuits:
- 3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup dried currants or diced dried cherries
For the Frosting:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (130 grams) powdered sugar
- Splash of milk if necessary
- dash of vanilla extract
- Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add lemon zest. Add cold butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Work quickly to incorporate the butter into the flour. The butter bits will be the size of small pebbles and oat flakes.
- Whisk together egg and buttermilk.
- Toss the dried currants or your preferred dried fruit into the dry ingredient mixture, and create a small well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Pour in the buttermilk mixture, all at once, and use a fork or wooden spoon to incorporate the ingredients. Make sure that all of the flour bits are moistened by the egg and buttermilk.
- Dump the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Bring together, kneading lightly, until the dough forms a 1-inch thick disk. Use a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut biscuit circles. Cut a biscuit into quarters and place on the baking sheet nestled together even though they’re sliced. Repeat with all of the biscuits. Gently knead the remaining dough scraps together. Form into a 1-inch thick disk and cut out more round biscuits until no dough remains.
- Brush biscuit tops with buttermilk and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top and firm-ish in the center.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting with a cross.
- In a medium bowl, using a firm spatula, blend together 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons cream cheese, and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Add just a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you’d like. Mixture will be thick.
- Cut a small tip off of a zip lock bag (you can also use a small round cake decorating tip). Fold down the sides of the bag and scoop the frosting into the bag. Pipe crosses onto completely cooled biscuits, into the crease.
- Biscuits are best served the day they are made, but will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for one day.