Updated: Jun 13, 2021
These decadent jewels are an Easter brunch tradition. Rich, tender, and slightly sweet, they shine simply with butter. Or use your imagination for a topping like the Caramel Walnut "Gravy" featured below. This recipe uses a food processor, but you can also prepare these by incorporating the butter into the mixture using a pastry blender or fork. For the grown ups, the "gravy" can be spiked with your favorite liquor or liqueur.
SWEET POTATO BISCUITS
Prep Time: 30 minutes Yield: Approximately 10 (3) inch biscuits
10 ounces chilled sweet potato puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2-1 tsp pure maple extract
3/4 cup chilled buttermilk (or whole milk combined with 1 tbsp white vinegar
2 1/4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 ounces (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 cubes
3 tbsp unsalted butter, to brush biscuit tops before and after baking;
Optional: Maldon finishing salt, or kosher salt, for buttered biscuit tops
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then very lightly butter the parchment (or spray with baking spray).
In medium size bowl, whisk the sweet potato puree with the vanilla and maple extracts, and the buttermilk. Place aside.
In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces, a few at a time, to the food processor, combining just until the butter is incorporated into the flour. Do not over-process the mixture, it should resemble course crumbs, with some of the butter still visible in the mixture. Remove flour mixture from processor into large bowl, then stir the sweet potato mixture into the batter until combined, and forms a soft dough. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Turn out the soft dough on a generously floured surface, patting it into a one inch thick round disc. Turn dough disc over (after adding more flour to work surface if needed) to ensure dough doesn't stick to cutting surface. Cut with biscuit cutter, pressing down directly on dough without twisting biscuit cutter, then place evenly spaced onto a prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter and bake approximately 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Once removed from oven, place on cooling rack and brush tops with remaining melted butter.
CARAMEL WALNUT GRAVY:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
salt, to taste
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup light brown sugar (or dark, for more molasses flavor)
1 tablespoon liquor such as whiskey or brandy
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup toasted medium chopped walnut pieces.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add salt, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Whisk in brown sugar until dissolved. Stir in half and half. Allow mixture to come to a low boil, and cook, whisking frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add in whiskey, if desired.
Stir in walnut pieces.