I’m ready for 2013. Like ready ready. I stepped onto the bathroom scale this morning and it said “error.” It’s such a jerk sometimes. Like when it randomly tells me I weigh 10lbs less than I did the day before… and then 6lbs more 8 seconds later. But it does have a point.
So all of those wonderful Trade Joe’s goodies that Santa left in our stocking have an “Eat before Monday or get hidden on the top shelf that you can’t reach without getting a chair from the dining room – and we both know you’re far too lazy to go get a chair from the dining room” label on them and the pages of my new Cooking Light Cookbook are littered with post it tab bookmarks.
Our post-holiday detox starts Tuesday. But until then, there’s bacon. And biscuits.
And Trader Joe’s Sweet-Salty-Nutty Trek Mix that is like crack. Certifiable crack.
On a quiet Saturday morning when the not-so-little-anymore one is at Gia & PaPaw’s house for the weekend, we sat down to a quick & simple breakfast of peppery Maple Bacon Biscuits, eggs, and some grapefruit juice.
Crumbly, airy biscuits made with bacon grease and sweetened with maple syrup. And it was the first recipe I made from my new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Flipping through it for the first time, I spotted them on page 28. And then I ran to the kitchen to make them immediately.
And then I immediately ate two straight out of the oven, mostly in celebration that the first recipe from a new cookbook turned out to be such a huge homerun. And partly because it was 4:30pm and that’s when I kick myself every single day for not having a snack an hour earlier.
I added a healthy dose of black pepper to help balance the sweet & savory just enough to almost make them a meal in itself. (“Almost,” like eating 2 biscuits wasn’t all of the calories I had left for dinner the other day.) I also made a double batch to be able to make the biscuits bigger than the 2-inch originals. And just a note – the dough was softer than expected for the double batch and I ended up kneading in a bit more flour after cutting the first few biscuits and realizing that they would spread quite a bit (and they did). The “extra flour” biscuits baked up nicely.
Maple Bacon Biscuits
Make breakfast really count with these sweet, crumbly biscuits studded with crispy bacon and black pepper.
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 1/4 cups flour, plus more for work surface
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ~8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter (see note below)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (I whisked 1/4 cup 2% milk with 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt)
- You want 12 Tbsp total between the butter and the grease reserved from cooking the bacon. If you end up with more bacon grease than 4 Tbsp, you can reduce the butter accordingly. And if you end up with less bacon grease, you can use more butter. Make sense? Good. Let's get started.
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Fry the bacon until crisp and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- Turn off the heat and add several generous dashes/grinds of black pepper to the pan and stir, letting the pepper cook for ~10 seconds.
- Pour the rendered bacon grease and pepper (scrape the peppery bits out if necessary) into a heat-safe measuring cup and stick it in the freezer to solidify.
- Chop the bacon into chunks and transfer to a small bowl, pouring the maple syrup over top.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and add the butter chunks and the bacon grease (use a spoon to scrape out the measuring cup).
- Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the butter and bacon grease into the dry ingredients until well mixed (no large chunks) and the mixture is mealy.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and maple-bacon mixture and stir/fold until your dough forms.
- Turn your dough onto a generously floured surfaced and give it a few kneads to come together and then pat it to 1-inch thick .
- Using a floured round cutter, cut as many rounds as you can and then pat the dough back together and repeat until the dough is gone - I got 10 biscuits using a 2.75-inch cutter.
- Place biscuits on a lined baking sheet (sides just barely touching) and bake 12-14 minutes or until the tops are golden.
- Serve warm. Leftovers reheated nicely for the 2-3 days they stuck around.
Yields: 10 biscuits
Estimated time: 35 minutes