Sunday, October 21, 2012

our very favorite pumpkin biscuit recipe

a few of my favorite things to eat/make this season have to do with pumpkins.

some of them are boxed mixes.  i don't always make the time to make from scratch, and these pass muster from my selective young eaters:

trader joe's pumpkin bread mix.  ander will eat this morning, noon, and night, and for snack in between.  i like mine with a little bit of the trader joe's cranberry butter.

trader joe's pumpkin pancake and waffle mix.  this mix is the reason diana will request pancakes any time there is time before we head off somewhere.

dutch brothers pumpkin chai.  now, i started this last year, when the syrup flavors came in for the fall season.  i tried my regular chai with shots of gingerbread flavoring, but the difference was too subtle to notice.  pumpkin, however, was AWESOME, so i have been drinking my chai ALL YEAR like this, except for when a location runs out (gasp) of the flavoring.  it never lets me down - iced, blended, or hot with plenty of whipped cream and spices on top - their pumpkin chai leaves me feeling on top of the world.  this is why steve makes sure i always have plenty of credit on my dutch brothers gift cards.

i would add trader joe's pumpkin spice chai mix to the list, but i can't - yet.  you see, even though i go to trader joe's every week, i did not see or know about this particular seasonal item until diana read the fearless flyer to me one afternoon while i folded laundry.  i practically jumped up and ran all the way to tj's to get it, only to find that they were OUT and were not getting any more.  i tried to add their pumpkin pie spice to the regular chai, but it does not dissolve.  fortunately, with jen and her dear husband to the rescue going to a different location, i have a can of this sitting, waiting patiently for its transfer and eventual consumption by me.

what makes ALL of us happyer at home, though, is this recipe for pumpkin biscuits.  i cut it out of a magazine some time back, probably family fun or wondertime or something similar, and it has been a favorite every time.  diana says she knows it's fall when i make homemade split pea soup (the only soup of mine she likes) and pumpkin biscuits.  they are wonderfully portable, so they come with us on outings when we need a snack (and we always need a snack).

this version includes my personal modifications:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (the coarse crystals)
1 1/2 tsp pampered chef cinnamon plus spice blend OR trader joe's pumpkin pie spice mix
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 15 oz can of unsweetened solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit.

blend dry ingredients together until well mixed.  cut butter in with pastry blender until the mixture looks like cornmeal.  stir in pumpkin until you have formed a soft dough.

turn out on well-floured surface and pat with well-floured hands until the dough is about 1 in thick.  you can then cut into rough squares (making it rustic-looking) or, as i have recently done, use a wide juice glass to turn out pretty round biscuits.  you should be able to get 15-16 this way.

bake on a pampered chef stoneware sheet (i have exclusively used these since before i was pregnant with my firstborn) for 15-18 minutes.  since they are already brown to begin with, you may need to break one open to check for doneness.  it should be moist and soft but completely cooked.

serve as soon as they've cooled enough that the kids don't burn their hands picking them up.  soooo yummy they don't need adornment, though trader joe's pumpkin or cranberry butter - just a little dab - makes it sweeter.

the harvest bean art projects spread out all over the table actually made a nice backdrop for these fresh biscuits
apparently the biscuits also go well with the white bean chili/soup i made for the LLL family potluck.
 happy baking!

addendum: for those interested in how the chili/soup turned out, here's a day-after picture.  still yummy, and perfect alongside cheese torte and crackers for a sunshine-after-the-rain fall day with a friend.

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