I have always considered toasting nuts to be [1] a waste of time and [2] a pain in the ass.

I’ve been wrong.

The penetrating aroma of roasted pecans is strikingly evident in these biscuits. That differentiated flavor makes for a morning surprise.

Tomorrow, I’ll post another reason for these biscuits: the topping to a very special and quite American cobbler. But for today, let’s focus on breakfast and biscuits.

Yield here is a bit tricky. There are supposed to be 8 of them when cut into 2 ¼ inch rounds. We got a few more, actually shaping the scraps into the scone-like wedges you see in the photo. The recipe calls for rolling out the dough to ¾ inch thickness and we did follow that advice. You’ll enjoy any extras.


Pecan Biscuits

Yield: the recipe says 8 but you might get more and even more of these in scone shapes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted in the oven at 350°F for 7-8 minutes
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pea-size bits
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preparation:

If you haven’t already, Toast the pecans in the oven at 350°F for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pecans. Using a pastry blender, an electric mixer with the

flat beater attachment or your fingertips, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in the cream to form a soft dough. Knead for 10 seconds, then lightly flour the dough and pat it out on a cookie sheet in a 3/4-inch-thick layer. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

Preheat the oven to 450°F., arranging a rack in the middle position.

Meanwhile, uncover the biscuit dough and use a round cutter to cut out 2%-inch biscuits. Pat the scraps together and recut to make a total of 8 biscuits.

Bake for about 10 minutes, but do check for doneness after 8 minutes.


Source: American Desserts by Wayne Harley Brachman [Clarkson Potter, 2003]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for 1/30th second at ISO‑200