The smell of basil leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. It is the scent of all scents, and something about it makes me immensely happy! I'm nursing along my own little baby basil plant, which will (hopefully) one day produce enough to send me into a happy-coma. I cannot wait for that day... pesto and pizza and ... biscuits, galore!
Let's talk about biscuits. I'll be honest here: I don't have an extensive history with biscuits. I remember making them a few times as a kid (mostly from Bisquick, which still has a place in my heart), using a juice glass to cut them out and then slathering them with butter and honey. I also remember moving to the Midwest and being astounded at the love of biscuits I encountered there: WHOA. Cracker Barrel quickly wooed me with the most amazing french toast EVER, but all of my friends would order biscuits: I couldn't quite understand. I, if given the opportunity to eat bread, would've rather had a soft and chewy roll, or a sugary scone, or a soft pretzel.
Much to my surprise, I found myself wanting biscuits this weekend. I had a distinct hankering for flakey, soft, hot, buttery goodness. A biscuit seemed like the answer. After being denied breakfast at my favorite place here in town (they're too darn busy!), I had to settle on a biscuit-less breakfast: to which I responded by coming home and immediately making biscuits, full stomach be damned.
I've had a note on my computer for a while now that says "honey basil scones/biscuits?" — alongside quite a few other notes of deep Mary thoughts. Or not so deep Mary thoughts. While I had originally thought I'd wait until my baby basil is an adolescent to conquer this, I happened to buy a large amount of basil to make pizza this weekend, and had quite a bit left over! Boom. Done. Into the biscuits it went.
I researched biscuit making, and came across a plethora of articles on the art of making biscuits. Perplexed by the fact that some recipes call for an egg while others don't, I consulted my culinary mentor and mastermind (aka my Mama). I decided to go for the egg. The extra fat couldn't hurt, right? Right. Many recipes later, I put together my own hodge-podge of a recipe that I thought would work.
Did it work? YES. It worked in the most wonderful of ways: these biscuits are to die for. No joke, they are fantastic. The honey and basil work so well together, then topped with some butter, more honey, and strawberries — it was like strawberry shortcake! I'm a biscuit convert now, and am glad to have many more of these (unbaked) in my freezer now.
Biscuits with a sweet and savory twist. The strawberry basil combination is decadent and yet healthy!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup basil leaves, chiffonade (or chopped even smaller)
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- butter, honey, and strawberries (for serving)
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, quickly work the butter into the flour mixture until it is the size of small peas and resembles course meal. Mix in the chopped basil leaves.
- In a smaller bowl, mix the honey into the milk completely. Add the egg, and beat until incorporated.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix until it is coming together. Don't worry if it is a little bit crumbly! Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat (or roll) into a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Fold one third towards the middle, then the other third over the middle as well. Roll out to be 1 inch thick, cut yoaur biscuits and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Cook for 12-14 minutes, then serve immediately with butter, honey, and sliced strawberries.