Who doesn’t love weekends? Introduce to me a person who loves to relish at the thought of Sundays becoming Mondays, and I’ll…..drop my jaw. Not really, but the point is, it’s only during the weekend that most of the family and I get to be under the same roof, caught up in our own little worlds, but at least we’re together.
I can imagine these biscuits could be great conversation starters:
For one, grandma might say, “biskwit ba ito?, dol hinde man” (“Is this a biscuit? It doesn’t seem like one”).
Then I would go on about how this is technically, a biscuit in the most literal sense.
Then uncle would say, “hindi man crispy” (“It’s not crispy”)
Then I would reinforce what I’ve already been talking about.
Then little cousin would butt in, sniff it and say, “akala ko cookie” (“I thought these were cookies”)
Then I’ve had enough: “FINE, I’LL MAKE A GODDAMN COOKIE NEXT TIME!!!!!” No, I didn’t really scream that. This conversation didn’t really happen in real life. I played it all out in my head because that’s what the voices have been telling me.
But that’s not to say these aren’t delicious. On the contrary, I can’t get enough of these biscuits. It just means I’ve never had a proper biscuit before. The closest thing I had, was probably a Pillsbury ready-mix that was baked in a toaster oven and had a crunchy exterior.
But after digging around, I found out I didn’t really commit any grave error. These aren’t the digestive biscuits which you might know of, hence it isn’t supposed to be crispy/crunchy. The operational definition for these little ones would have to be “a small quick bread made from dough that has been rolled out and cut or dropped from a spoon”. It’s called a quickbread because it doesn’t require yeast to rise; only baking powder/soda. It’s like a scone, not that I’ve ever had a scone before.
The best way I can describe the sensation of eating this would be that it’s like biting into a denser version of puff pastry, with a cake-y character, but still very buttery because the dough required minimal work. The reason why puff pastries ‘puff’ is because the dough is not overworked to the point of creating a paste.
These aren’t perfect. It’s more like a starting point for me because I’d like to see the dough “rise” some more, beyond the semblance of a flat cookie, but not to the point of it being mistaken for a mini mutant pan de sal. The original recipe didn’t require adding walnuts, but I think walnuts make everything better with their buttery, “melt-in-your-mouth” texture.
Honey and Walnut Biscuits (makes 14 – 16 three inch in diameter biscuits; adapted from Beti Vanilla)
A real treat is to bite into the baked walnut topping, which melts in your mouth like butter because it’s been baked. Of course, the biscuits are great too!
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup/ 1 stick cold unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, roughly crushed/chopped, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 420 F/ 215 C. Cut the butter into small cubes. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or baking paper.
- In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and cream of tartar.
- Using a pastry cutter (you can also use a fork or a food processor), cut in the butter with the flour mixture, until coarse lumps have formed.
- Add the milk, walnuts and honey, stir just until everything comes together. Do not overmix or else the biscuits will turn out hard. You will want tiny specks of butter.
- Roll the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
- Place in the prepared pan and lightly brush them with milk. Garnish each biscuit with a piece of walnut. Bake it in the oven at 420 F/215 C for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.