Dennis Weaver

There is not much difference between scones and biscuits; scones are usually a little richer and sweeter.  So the practices described here, though intended for biscuits, can be applied to scones.

With our new, just-add-water biscuit mixes, we have been making lots of biscuits.  After all, we can have them in the oven in five or six minutes.  And it’s fun to experiment.  For example, we made cranberry nut biscuits by adding dry cranberries, pecans, and orange zest.  (These were good enough that I took some home and made sandwiches:  I sliced them open, added deli ham, a slice of provolone, and a tablespoon of homemade pear freezer jam.  They were very good.*)

The following will help you design your own sweet biscuits.

  • For three cups of biscuit mix or a recipe that calls for three cups of flour, add three tablespoons of sugar and one cup of dried fruit.  Both the sugar and the fruit will add sweetness.
  • If you would like to add both nuts and fruit, cut the fruit back to 3/4 cup and add 3/4 cup nuts.
  • It’s nice to add some flavor to fruity biscuits.  Our favorite is a generous teaspoon of orange or lemon zest.  Liquid flavors can be used.  Choose anything that will give you a fruity background and use two teaspoons.  (For the apricot orange biscuits shown in the picture, we used a teaspoon of orange flavor and a teaspoon of apricot flavor.)
  • If you are in the mood, you can drizzle a little frosting on your biscuits.  Use one cup of powdered sugar, two tablespoons of meringue powder, and a little flavor.  (The meringue powder will create a firmer shell to your frosting so that they don’t mar so easily.)  Two tablespoons of milk will usually be about the right amount of liquid.

The flavor should match or complement the flavor in the biscuits.  If there is too much contrast, the frosting will overpower the flavor of the biscuits.  We carry a wide variety of liquid flavors and extracts.

*I grew up with cheese and jam sandwiches, often packed in lunches.  My mother spread a little butter on the bread to keep the sandwiches from getting soggy and then added jam and cheese.  Added meat is a logical extension.

Monte Cristo sandwiches follow this same practice, jam on a meat and cheese sandwich, only the sandwich is batter dipped and fried.  The combination of mustard– commonly used with a Monte Christo–and jam has the effect of a sweet mustard.

My favorite jam for these sandwiches is loganberry jam.  But then, a loganberry is a sweet cousin to a cranberry. 

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