Salt & Pepper Biscuits

flaky and buttery

I know that it’s January 6th, but today feels like the official first day of 2014. Last week was New Year’s and all of that, but things were slower. My office was half empty, emails were less frequent and I didn’t feel like I had to be doing anything quite yet. This week is a different story. I’m ready to power back up for the year, even if I’d still like an extra five or ten minutes wrapped up in a blanket on my couch before venturing out into the world. We wrapped things up this weekend by staying busy while still taking some time to do absolutely nothing. On Friday night, we spent the evening with friends at Harefield Road, then grabbed a slice (or two) and had a couple of cocktails at Featherweight, a new bar near our apartment, before calling it a night. Saturday, we slept in, then I made a big we-were-out-kinda-late breakfast: eggs, pan roasted mushrooms, toast, avocado and bacon, along with plenty of coffee. Kramer and I ate and watched Lincoln Lawyer, which we hadn’t seen but I really enjoyed (Matthew McConaughey can do no wrong, as I’m sure you all know). Once we showered up and got dressed, we met some friends at Kang Suh for a Korean feast of epic proportions, then walked over to Madison Square Garden for the Professional Bull Riding championships. I know that I may not seem like a huge fan of bull riding, and I’m really not, but it was definitely a fun experience. I was a little worried that I’d be upset by how they treated the bulls, but to be honest, those cowboys took a seriously ass-kicking from the animals! Only a handful of guys were able to stay on for more than eight seconds. Between the action and the crowd, which was entertaining all on its own, we had a really good time.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsSnowy New York.

After bull riding, we made our way back to our friends Tom and Val’s place for some Disneyland Adventures. I love that game and it almost makes me want to buy an Xbox. We watched their dog, Mia, for a week two summers ago while they were on vacation and Kramer and I couldn’t get enough of it. Maybe I need to actually visit Disneyland again. Anyway, Sunday was another day of sleeping in, a good breakfast, the Mythbusters Star Wars special and some lunch prep for the week (of course). Once we finally got up off of the couch, we went to one of our favorite spots, Suzume, for dinner with friends. Their salmon ramen is to die for, it’s so good. Kramer and I picked up some peanut butter ice cream on our way home, caught up on Top Chef and got into bed to do a little reading before I fell asleep with my Kindle in my hand, as always. Now I’m eating scrambled eggs and avocado, drinking my coffee and mentally preparing for the year to really start.

Salt & Pepper Biscuits

I made these biscuits on Thanksgiving, but I haven’t had a chance to post them until now. The recipe is from Bon Appétit, whose recipes are always awesome, and I think that they were received well. The only special thing you need to make these is sour cream – I tested them out prior to Thanksgiving and used Greek yogurt, but there wasn’t enough fat content and the biscuits came out dry. The second time around, when I made them with the sour cream, they turned out perfectly. The bottoms are nice and browned, the tops got just slightly crisp, and the insides were flaky and buttery, perfect for mopping up gravy or making an egg sandwich with. I especially loved the pretty layers on the sides of these biscuits, the key to which is apparently making sure you don’t twist the cutter when you’re making the biscuits, as that removes the layered effect. The best thing to do is to just carefully press the cutter down and pull it directly up. I forget where I read this, but it definitely works! The original recipe says to sprinkle the biscuits with additional salt and pepper before baking, but I found that just adding it to the dough was plenty flavorful, but obviously you can do as you wish. Just make sure that you double the recipe, because you’re going to want to go back for seconds!

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsBitters basket present from Tom and Valerie, cocktails at Featherweight, Valerie and Mia, and the Professional Bull Riding championships at Madison Square Garden.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsOnce you’ve gotten your dough started and cut in the butter, fold in the sour cream and heavy cream with a wooden spoon.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsThe result should be a shaggy dough – the less you mess around with biscuit dough, the more flaky and buttery it will be.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsCut out your biscuits, being careful not to twist the cutter (twisting removes some of the flakiness from the sides.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsBake until lightly golden.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsServe warm.

Salt & Pepper BiscuitsOr maybe even with a little butter.

Salt & Pepper Biscuits
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 biscuits
Flaky, buttery salt and pepper biscuits.
  • ¾ cup sour cream (full fat)
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the sour cream and three tablespoons of heavy cream.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the baking powder, kosher salt, sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and 2 cups of flour in a food processor. Add in the butter a few cubes at a time and pulse until coarse crumbs form.
  3. Place the mixture in a large bowl, and using a spoon, mix in sour cream mixture until just combined - you want to have a light, shaggy dough, being careful not to overmix (if you're pressed for time, you can make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake).
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until ¾-inch thick. Using a 2.5-inch diameter cutter, cut out biscuits, re-rolling scraps as needed, until you've used all the dough. When you're cutting out the dough, try your best not to twist the cutter, as that removes some of the nice layers from the sides. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet (this is important for evenly-browned biscuits) and brush with remaining one tablespoon of heavy cream.
  5. Bake the biscuits until golden brown on the bottom (you can pick one up to check), about 15 minutes or so. My biscuits didn't look particularly browned on top, but for buttery, flaky biscuits, I think it's important to under-bake them just a bit. Serve warm or place in a basket and serve within a few hours.
Adapted From


9 Responses

  1. Elena says:

    I totally agree about today feeling like the first of the year. Although my life is kinda composed out of numerous Groundhog days… But I still can differentiate days by energy levels. And today definitely feels like a Monday and like a first day of something bigger.
    Your NYC stories bring back so many memories. And the mood. I do miss the feeling of the winter mood of Big Apple…

    Those biscuits look amazing, but moreover simple enough. I need to put them on my “to do” for the weekend.

  2. Christy says:

    Is there anything more comforting than biscuits? You’ve taken them up a level and I can’t wait to try these! Hope you stay warm and dry today!

  3. The biscuits look wonderful, but the more important question is how do you take your coffee?

  4. Jane M says:

    Haha Martha just blogged about the bull thing this morning. She also Tweeted from the event and I was clueless what she was talking about. That doesn’t sound like anything I would enjoy watching either.
    On another note, brrrrr it’s frrrreezing in Jersey!

  5. Sasha says:

    I have this BA recipe bookmarked too 😉
    Their recipes are the best!

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