February 7, 2016
Last week I gave you the recipe for biscuits--and the reason to make them (they're
quick and delicious and will pep up any tired soup or salad on the menu).This week
I want to give you some further ideas for using biscuit dough and using up any
First of all, use your biscuit dough to make a quick-and-easy family version of
cinnamon buns. Turn the oven to 400 degrees. Put 4 tablespoons of butter into a
baking dish and set it in the oven to melt while you prepare the buns. Roll out the
dough on a floured board into a rectangle a little thinner than you would for actual
biscuits. Sprinkle a sugar-cinnamon mixture* all over the top of the rolled-out dough,
spreading it with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Now, starting with one of the
longer sides of the rectangle, roll it up like a jelly roll, making a fairly tight cylinder.
Smush the ends in as needed so the sugar doesn't fall out.
Take out the pan with the melted butter and add to it a quarter-cup of maple syrup.
You could also use honey or even sugar. Mix the butter and syrup together in the
Cut the cylinder with a sharp knife into one- or one-and-a-quarter-inch slices and
place each in the pan, gently smushing it down as you put it into the butter and
syrup. When the pan is full, bake it in the 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. While
it is still hot (be careful) invert it onto a platter so that the syrup side is on top,
looking gooey and tempting.
Sprinkle chopped nuts or raisins (or dried cherries or cranberries) over the sugar-
cinnamon mixture before you roll up the rectangle.
Biscuit dough is very versatile. Whether you make it from scratch or use leftover
dough from the day before, it makes a quick and crisp platform for pizza toppings.
Just roll it out (thinner than for biscuits) and top it with seasoned tomato sauce or
pesto, some onions (raw or cooked), and then whatever you like on your pizza,
including cheese. Bake at 425 or 450 for 15 or 20 minutes. It's obviously not a
yeast-raised pizza crust, but it's nonetheless delicious and very quick.
Next, Drop Biscuits. These are even simpler than last week's version, since they
don't have to be rolled out. Make the standard recipe but put in an additional four or
five tablespoons of milk, so that the dough is softer and moister than the original.
Drop these by the spoonful onto a baking sheet and bake for the usual 15 minutes.
Add grated cheese to the dough, for Cheese Drop Biscuits
Drop spoonfuls of the dough on top of a pot of hot soup, then clap the lid on and let
them simmer (not boil) for 15 to 20 minutes: Soup and Dumplings
Add a spoonful of sugar to the dough and drop it on top of a pan of simmering fruit
(plums, cherries, stone fruit, apples). Cover and simmer for 15 minutes: Fruit
Slice peeled (or not) peaches, apples, pears--whatever fruit you want--into a baking
dish and sprinkle with sugar. Drop the biscuit dough onto the fruit and bake
(uncovered) for about 45 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked and bubbling and the
biscuits are brown. There you are: an easy cobbler.
And finally, here are some ideas for using leftover biscuits, if you overestimated
your family's appetite. You can split and toast them, then eat them with butter and
jam. A refinement of that is to split them, put a bit of butter on each half, and bake
or broil them briefly until the butter melts. Add cheese if you like.
But my very favourite leftover biscuit idea is what Eileen, my mother and the Queen
of Leftovers, used to do with any leftover bread, bun, roll, or biscuit. She would cut
the bread into pieces (biscuits, she would halve), spread all the surfaces with
melted butter (using a pastry brush or her fingers), then roll the pieces in cinnamon
sugar and bake them for 10 minutes in a moderate oven until they had a crisp
sugary shell. I wouldn't recommend eating these every day for breakfast, for obvious
reasons. But they're a terrific treat--and a genius way to use leftover biscuits and
bread of any sort.
*What would a posting from me be without an asterisk? This one is to remind you
NEVER to buy little jars of cinnamon sugar from the supermarket spice rack. Make
your own by putting sugar (half a cup or less) in a little dish, then stirring in
cinnamon, starting with a teaspoon. Adjust the mixture to your taste by adding
more cinnamon or more sugar. Store what you don't use in a small jar. It will keep