I’m not a sentimental person, but kids have a way of bringing out traits in us parents that we never knew existed, such as patience (who knew I had so much patience?). Maybe it’s the fact that I now have two kids of my own that I find myself spending more time reflecting on my own childhood memories.
The holiday season is one of the times my sentimental and reflective self comes out. I think back to the memories I enjoyed as a kid with a desire to find a way to bridge the old with the new.
As I think back on the sweet memories that made my childhood so special, particularly during the holiday season, they aren’t things. The must-have gift that my parents did or did not place under the tree, the size of the turkey we ate at Thanksgiving (although I vividly remember the year my mom burned the turkey which nearly resulted in a kitchen remodel…sorry, Mom, good memories!), or even the color dress or new shoes I wore at the family Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
While the things were so important to the seven year-old I once was, now as I look back, those aren’t the memories I remember most and giggle about (except the fiery turkey). In fact, I can’t even remember the majority of the gifts I received or the color of my clothes for special holiday dinners.
My most vivid memories aren’t things, but rather time spent together and the traditions we honored.
The time my mom and I spent in the kitchen each Thanksgiving running butter and breadcrumbs through our fingers (sneaking in greasy bites here and there), the pumpkin pie filling we beat together in her large glass bowl, and the flour that covered every square each of my mom’s kitchen just hours before the family arrived to enjoy the feast we lovingly prepared.
I’m reminded once again that the holidays aren’t about the giant sales already plastered on our TVs, the newest toys, or the fanciest trees. The holiday season (the season upon us) is about much more, which money can’t buy and no one can beat you to (which means you don’t have to wake up at 3am…Woohoo!).
This is the season for getting into the kitchen with our kids and covering our counters with flour, letting the kids roll out the dough, and lick the spoons. It’s about creating memories and traditions and slowing down, enjoying a meal together and delivering a box of homemade cookies to the neighbors we may barely know.
These are the memories and traditions that add spice to the holiday season, setting them apart from the rest of the year, and bridging the gap between the old and new.
As our family prepares for the upcoming holiday season and creating new memories in our kitchen and around our table, today, I’d like to share one of my favorite recipes…sweet potato biscuits.
These sweet potato biscuits are a special twist on my family’s well-loved whole wheat biscuit recipe, with the addition of fresh, seasonal sweet potatoes and thyme. This year we decided to add an extra special treat to our favorite biscuits: maple cinnamon butter. The simple, sweet butter mixes perfectly with the warm savory biscuits, adding spice to the holidays and creating memories in the kitchen.
Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Cinnamon Butter
Sweet Potato Biscuits:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour
- 1 1/2 TB baking powder
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 8 TB butter cold, cubed
- 3/4 cup whole milk plus 1 TB for the tops of the biscuits
- 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato I roast one or two medium-size sweet potatoes at 400F for 1 hour and scoop out the center once cooled.
Maple Cinnamon Butter:
- 8 TB butter softened
- 2 TB pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the cold butter cubes to the flour. Use a pastry cutter (or your hands) to crumble the butter into the flour mixture, until the butter resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and milk.
- Pour the sweet potato and milk into the the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Using your hands (gently kneading the dough if necessary), form the dough into a ball.
- Sprinkle a surface with a small amount of flour. Roll the dough, on the floured surface, into a long rectangle. Fold the dough in half, lengthwise and gently press together.
- Using a biscuit cutter (like this) cut out individual biscuits. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet or stone. Brush the top of each biscuit with the 1 tablespoon of milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden and the sides are firm.
- For the Maple Cinnamon Butter: In a medium-size bowl, beat the butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon with a large wooden spoon. Beat until the butter is brown and whipped. You can also use a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand-mixer to make this butter. Serve the soft butter with the warm biscuits.
*Whole wheat pastry flour may be substituted for einkorn flour.
These were wonderful!
Yay, Diana! I’m so glad you liked them
Yummmm! Made these around the holidays and they were perfect. Can’t wait to make them again!
Hi Kristin! I’m hoping you can recommend an adaptation to this recipe that will allow me to use spelt flour instead of einkorn. I have quite a bit of leftover sprouted spelt that I need to use, but I don’t want to affect the taste or density of these lovely bites too much. Thanks!
Hmmm, Evey. Sprouted flours usually result in pretty dense biscuits. I’d try reducing the flour by about a 1/2 cup. I’m not sure if that will be the perfect amount, but it should help. You could even leave out as much as 3/4 cup of the flour called for here, and then just add flour as needed if the dough is too wet.
Thanks so much for the advice! I played it by ear and ended up using about 2-1/4 cups sprouted spelt flour (dough was quite wet). They turned out great: http://imgur.com/nWjiGBN
I can absolutely see that using einkorn flour would help separate the flaky layers better, though. I plan to give the einkorn variation a try in two or three weeks. Thanks Kristin!
I am really wanting to make these for our Thanksgiving this year – I am planning to sub the milk for a full-fat coconut milk but was wondering about the flour to try and make it gluten free. Do you have any recommendations here? Maybe a mixture of arrowroot powder and oat flour? Thanks in advance for any help!
Hey Reagan, I think the best flour to use would be a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (like Bob’s Red Mill) as it will sub 1:1 with the einkorn.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help!
You’re welcome! Let me know how it goes!
Made these tonight, so yummy with our soup. My toddler had a good time helping too. 🙂 You can always use water to make biscuits too. I actually used lard and whey to make these tonight. Kerrigold butter is precious in my household, my son likes to eat it by the Tbsp!
I decided I would use a little less thyme next time, they were just a little strong for us, but we enjoyed them very much anyway. Thank you for another great recipe and for opening the door for me to new possibilities making biscuits.
That’s awesome, Bethany! I’m so glad everyone loved the biscuits. Yes, I’m sort of addicted to thyme (it’s one of my weird spice addictions ;)), decreasing it or even taking it out completely works just fine, too. I love that you used lard and whey–great idea!
Lovely how you have described those precious moments in the kitchen, beautifully written! And those biscuits look delicious, I definitely have to try them sometime soon.
Thank you so much, Inge. I hope you like the biscuits :). They are a favorite in our house.
I would love to try this recipe as I love sweet potatoes! Two questions:
>Can I use my sprouted wheat flour?
>Is there an alternative to milk that you can recommend? For instance, would goat milk work? Or how about full fat coconut milk?
I appreciate your considering these questions.
Hey Erin, I highly recommend making some :).
1. Biscuits really need a light flour so a sprouted whole wheat would probably make for very dense biscuits, however, if you’re sprouting your own flour and using “soft” wheat berries, I think the sprouted flour will create the same light and flaky biscuits. You can definitely try sprouted whole wheat, but they probably won’t be as light and flaky as the einkorn or whole wheat pastry flour…but still taste great.
2. Any full fat milk can be used in this recipe, so almond, coconut, or goats milk will work great in place of the whole cow’s milk. I find low-fat or watery milk beverages (coconut “beverage” vs. actual milk) tend to produce less than appetizing biscuits, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what you’re planning to use ;).
Let me know what you end up using and how they come out!
Kristin, what a beautiful post! That little one of yours is absolutely PRECIOUS! And those biscuits look amazing. Your photos are so beautiful. They are so warm and inviting. Makes me feel like I’m right there in your kitchen watching you bake with your sweet little one! 🙂
You’re so sweet, Kelly. Thank you. Biscuits are one the perfect kid foods…the rolling, kneading, and biscuit cutting.
Love the maple + sweet potato. It must really bring out the potato’s flavor! Yum 🙂
It does, Medha! The combo of savory thyme and sweet potatoes is perfect for the sweet maple butter. Enjoy!!
These biscuits look amazing! We have sweet potatoes waiting in the pantry right now!
Thank you, Elise! They are amazing. I always make extra for egg and cheese sweet potato muffins the next morning.