Breakfast by Fabio: Buttermilk and Black Pepper Biscuits

Biscuits from Fabio book

There are carbohydrates that are biscuits, and then there are carbohydrates that are not biscuits.

These are biscuits. They are from the new book Fabio's American Home Kitchen: More Than 125 Recipes With an Italian Accent. Look at this guy, I trust his biscuits!

Sounds like the perfect holiday weekend breakfast to me!

Buttermilk and Black Pepper Biscuits

America loves biscuits. I love them with gravy, I love them without. I love biscuits with savory ingredients like roasted ham and sun-dried tomatoes on them. But when you add a lot of black pepper to the biscuits, that’s really taking it to the next level. This is a very simple recipe, perfect for the morning.


  • 2¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter a baking sheet.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda and Parmesan and pepper into a bowl.
  3. Work in the butter with your fingers, or pulse in a food processor, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in buttermilk until just combined.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch disk about 1 inch thick. Cut out 12 rounds with a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, collecting and reshaping the scraps as necessary.
  5. Arrange the biscuits on the buttered baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

Photo and recipe from Fabio's American Home Kitchen: More Than 125 Recipes With an Italian Accent by Fabio Viviani; published by Hachette Books, a division of the Hachette Book Group. Copyright ©2014 FV Legacy, LLC. All Rights Reserved.  Used with Permission. 

Marshmallow-Mango Biscuit Sandwiches

Homemade biscuits

I'm not sure if you think about biscuits as much as me. In my life, thoughts about biscuits are about as common as thoughts about what time it is or if I have a new email--that is to say, like, all the freaking time.

But even I had never thought about this particular concoction, although I'm so glad it's now in my life: marshmallow-mango biscuit sandwiches. Like, OMG.

It was a bit of kismet, actually: I was in Puerto Rico working on upcoming Craftsy posts which involved, respectively, homemade biscuits and homemade marshmallow fluff. We also happened to have a beautiful fresh mango in the kitchen--I just kind of looked at all the bounty, and a new classic was born.

Homemade biscuits

Fluffy homemade marshmallow goo adds the perfect amount of "manufactured" sweetness to the natural, mellow sweetness of ripe mango. Sandwiching it between rich, buttery biscuit halves adds just the richness and saltiness it needs to really be a nice and satisfying treat. It's got everything going on: fluffy, buttery, mallow-y, sweet, salty...and of course, with the mango involved, it's officially health food. Score!


The biscuits were an adaptation of these three-ingredient buttermilk biscuits, and the marshmallow fluff was an adaptation of this homemade version. I suppose if you wanted to you could use another fruit, but this combo was pretty killer.

As an added bonus, they kind of look like savory breakfast sandwiches from a distance. So they're like a guerilla dessert, and a sweet surprise!

Homemade biscuits Homemade biscuits

Marshmallow-Mango Biscuit Sandwiches

Makes 4

  • 4 heaping spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff (here's a homemade recipe)
  • 2-3 thick slices of fresh mango per biscuit
  • 4 buttermilk biscuits (approx 2-inch diameter), split in two
  • butter and salt


  1. Split the biscuits in half. Toast them in a toaster oven or heat them in the microwave until they are warm. 
  2. Butter and salt the halves to taste.
  3. Place a big ol' mound of marshmallow fluff on top of one of the halves; place the mango on top of that. The gooey marshmallow should poke through a bit so that when you put the top half back on top, it should stick.
  4. Eat warm. Enjoy. 

Have you ever tried marshmallow and mango together?

Biscuit Time: Warren Brown's Basic Biscuit Recipe

Warren Brown biscuit recipe

It's possible that there's a bread product that I love more than biscuits. It's just that none come to my mind at the moment.

As a lover and (in my opinion, connaisseur) of the biscuit, I was delighted to see a recipe for them in Warren Brown's new book, CakeLove in the Morning: Recipes for Muffins, Scones, Pancakes, Waffles, Biscuits, Frittatas, and Other Breakfast Treats.

Warren Brown Cakelove in the morning

Now, you know I love Warren Brown and his cakes. And this is a rather pretty new book. For instance, I love the idea that this cake could be considered a brunch food, and can't stop looking at it.

Warren Brown Cakelove in the morning

But back to the biscuits.

As for Warren's recipe: I love his biscuits. When I baked them I didn't get incredible rise on them, but I am going to warrant a guess that this is largely because I was baking at a high altitude (currently in Santa Fe!). Warren Brown's Biscuit Recipe

Nonetheless, these biscuits are fo' sho' very tasty. Nice and buttery and flavorful. A nice canvas for flavored butters, sugar butter topping, or a great base for shortcake. 

Warren Brown's Biscuit Recipe Warren Brown's Biscuit Recipe

Here's the recipe.

Warren Brown's Basic Biscuit Recipe (printable version here)

Makes 10 to 12

  • 13 ounces (about 2.5 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 3/4 stick butter melted (optional--for brushing tops)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the middle position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combein the flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Mix for 30 seconds on low speed.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add them to the flour mixture with the mixer on low speed. Continue mixing until the mixture holds together when pinched, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Drizzle in the half and half until the dough is a wet, slightly pasty mass. You may not need all the liquid.
  5. Turn out the dough on to a floured work surface. Dust your hands well with flour. Lightly knead by hand and shape the dough into a disc 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
  6. With a 2 to 3 inch biscuit cutter (I used the floured rim of a drinking glass), cut as many biscuits as the dough will provide. Gently re-form any scraps into biscuits without cutting. Brish the tops with melted butter, if desired (do it!), and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly browned on the bottom. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving. Store in an airtight container and reheat in the toaster oven (or in the oven).

Simple but Sweet: Very Nice Cutout Biscuits Recipe

Very nice cutout cookies

Sometimes, you need an over-the top cream-filled and sprinkle-studded dessert.

Well, this cookie is not for that time. This cookie should not be loved any less because of that, however: the fact is, it's a perfectly simple but sweet snacking cookie. In fact, I might go so far as to call it a biscuit, because for some reason I can't shake the idea of pairing these sophisticated treats with English tea.

Very nice cutout cookies

What more can I say about this biscuit? It's the perfect building block for a sandwich cookie or an ideal cookie to garnish an ice cream dessert; it would be wonderful dressed up with a dipping in chocolate and would be a very nice complement to a pot de creme. 

Of course, lightly crunchy and not overly sweet, they make a fine snack all on their own, too. 

No, it's not a showstopper. But this versatile cookie is a good one to have in your back pocket. They're not difficult to make, and the recipe yields a TON of cookies  if you use approximately 1.5-inch cutters. Keep it on file!

Very nice cutout cookies

Pleasant Biscuits

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated cinnamon
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed.
  4. Add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Place each dough disk between 2 clean, large pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more.)
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.
  8. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting out shapes.
  9. Cut out cookies and transder to the prepared baking sheets.
  10. Freeze the baking sheets for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Gather up the scraps, reroll and cut out more cookies.
  11. Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature. Makes many cookies (like 80 1.5-inch round ones).

Pike Place Market Inspired Honey Cream Biscuits Recipe

On the list of Things I Love To Eat, biscuits rank very high. So when I received a review copy of Pike Place Market Recipes: 130 Delicious Ways to Bring Home Seattle's Famous Market by Jess Thomson (who also co-wrote the Top Pot Doughnuts cookbook) and saw that it included a biscuit recipe, I knew I had to try it. The headnote drew me in:

"If you can get past the allure of Moon Valley Organics's honey-scented skincare products at its Pike Place Market Day Stall, you'll also find delicious honey, harvested in Washington's Cascade Mountains. Use it to make these biscuits, which are perfect for breakfast, served straight from the oven. Spread them with butter and--what else?--a little more honey.

Decadent cream biscuits, redolent of honey and topped with more honey? Done and done. Here's the recipe!

The book is well worth a look even if you're not from Seattle, btw--it's full of fantastic recipes, and wonderful stories about the famed and storied market. Oh, and the fishmonger on the right side of the cover, above? I have totally illustrated him in cupcake form. I'm totally not kidding. Someone asked me to do a custom piece once and asked me to use that guy as a picture reference because she had a crush on him. He's the tattooed cupcake, below.

Fish Thrower Cuppies!

Honey Cream Biscuits

Makes 8

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup high quality honey
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

also suggested: more honey and butter, for serving; or, do as I did, and add a big spoonful of brown sugar melted in butter.


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch chunks, and using a large fork or pastry cutter, mix the butter into the flour mix until the butter resembles small peas. Add 1 cup of the cream and the honey, drizzling the honey evenly over the entire mixture, and mix well with a fork until no dry spots remain.
  3. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl to help it hold together (add the extra cream if needed). Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it to an 8-inch circle, about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass or similarly sized cookie cutter, cut out biscuits, re-rolling so you can use the scraps for more biscuits. 
  4. Invert the biscuits onto the prepared sheet so that the smooth side is up (that way, they'll rise up, not out), brush with the melted butter, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheet, then serve warm, with butter and honey.

Biscuit Time: Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls Recipe for Serious Eats

What happens when you combine biscuits with cinnamon rolls?

A few things, as I discovered when I recently came across something called the Biscuit Cinnamon Roll at the Denver Biscuit Company. On a technical level, the combination yields a biscuity, dense and substantial roll with a deliciously crisped edge and gooey, sweet interior. But if you want to get poetic about it (and you just might), by melding these two twin titans of carbohydrate awesomeness, you've got a decadently delicious and addictive tour de force that just might change the way you look at morning sweets forever.

Here's my homemade re-creation of this Denver delicacy.

Note: The biscuit portion of the recipe is adapted from The New York Times.

Find the full entry and recipe on Serious Eats!

Biscuit Time: Skillet Diner, Seattle WA

It is possible that a new word needs to be invented for the level of happiness that is to be attained by eating a biscuit at the newly-opened Skillet Diner in Seattle.

Skillet Street Food gained a following tooling around town as a mobile fancy food truck, with its bacon jam, poutine, and epic burgers gaining an almost cult-like following.

But I am telling you, you must eat the biscuits. Recently I hit up the brick-and-mortar location with my friend Nicole, and ate some savory food (it was very good) to warm up for the carb-fest.

And what a carb-fest it was. This biscuit was all things at once: flaky, buttery, dense, light, sweet, salty, and oh, so good. Oh dearie me, what was in it? I'm not smart enough to guess ingredients, so I have no idea, but it had something that made it different (lard?). It had flecks of brown sugar. It had nubbly little bits on the craggy exterior, making for a perfect outer crunch. It was like a biscuit party in my mouth. 

A happy biscuit moment indeed, and they serve them with homemade jam to boot.

Skillet Diner, 1400 E. Union, Seattle. Online here.

Skillet Diner on Urbanspoon

Biscuit Time: Peels, NYC

Photo: Peels NYCIt's always biscuit time in this spy's eyes.

But even so, biscuit time is more satisfying at some locales than others, and my most recent sweet spot is Peels in NYC.

Tipped off to this awesome from Serious Eats staffers Erin and Leandra, I knew that I had to visit after hearing tales of their dense and delicious buttermilk specimen.

And happily, it lived up to the hype.

As promised , the biscuits were substantial yet flaky, and completely buttery and heavenly.

Not sweet themselves, they can be dressed up in whatever way you'd like, going savory (creamed collards, eggs, and ham, anyone?) or sweet, with a simple coating of preserves and butter.

And I daresay that this is the type of carbohydrate versatility that we could all use in our lives.

Peels, 325 Bowery, NYC. Online here.

Biscuit Time: Butter and Jam Biscuits from Oddfellows, Seattle

It's a documented fact that if you talk to me for more than, say, 10 minutes, I will start talking about my deep love for biscuits. Buttery, flaky, fluffy, did I say buttery, biscuits.

Happily, in Seattle, there are some gorgeous specimens. But my current obsession? The jam-and-butter-filled version from Oddfellows Cafe in Capitol Hill (beloved by The New York Times, and, happily, just up the street from my store!).

These biscuits have a perfect texture, with a dense, flaky, buttery consistency, and a nice crunchy crust on top.

But what takes them from great to awesome overload is the fact that they serve them sliced in half, with about a fourth of a stick of butter and a thick spoonful of jam waiting like a sweet and rich secret inside of those carbohydratey halves.

Bonus: these freeze quite well, so if you pick up several, you can freeze them and then reheat at 350 degrees in your oven until warm.

Also excellent: a rotating selection of savory biscuits, including bacon-cheddar. 

Biscuits from Oddfellows Cafe, 1525 10th Ave., Seattle; online here.

Biscuit Time: Biscuits from Both Ways Cafe, Seattle WA

Basically all reviews will point you to the same summary of Both Ways Cafe: breakfast good, lunch meh. But whatever you do, you must order the biscuits.

I don't have to be told twice to order biscuits.

At Both Ways, they serve tall, flaky biscuits which are crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The overall size is generous, but not intimidating, as an accompaniment to breakfast. As a minor pet peeve, the biscuit was served at room temperature with chilled butter (if I am allowed to nitpick for a moment, if the biscuit is at room temperature, the butter ought to be too, to spread more easily; or, the biscuit ought to be slightly warmed so that the butter will melt). However, if the biscuit is going along with breakfast, this is a minor inconvenience--simply top it with a small bit of hot omelette and the butter melts beautifully. 

But if you want a sweet experience, butter your biscuit and spoon on a dollop of the jam waiting on each table--you'll be rewarded with a simple, but totally sweet, biscuit experience. Aforementioned crispy edge gives way to a soft interior, which is gorgeous with a slather of butter and smear of sweet jam. It is the type of thing that transports you to a simpler time, even if you've never technically known a simpler time, while eating it.

Of course, biscuits like these do go stale quickly, so for the best experience, be sure to go fairly early (or just be slightly more forgiving, the way you would with a croissant eaten after 10am. You totally know what I mean, don't pretend you don't). Of course, the bakery case does boast a bevy of other homemade sweets to sample if the biscuits are all gone.

Biscuits from Both Ways Cafe, 4922 S. Genessee Way, Seattle.

Both Ways Catering Co. on Urbanspoon

Getting Down to Biscuit: Vegan Jam Biscuits at Watertown Coffee, Seattle

There's nothing like a good biscuit, especially when it's tender, flaky, and extremely buttery.

But wait, what's this? At Watertown Coffee, their biscuits pack a delicious punch, and have the ability to challenge my buttery-biscuit desires, because you see, they're vegan.

On a recent visit the baker mentioned that her biscuits had received high praise--"better than Macrina's" was, I believe, the phrase tossed around--and after that, well, we had to try them.

But as for the superior biscuit, I really can't go down that road, because these are simply two different specimens of biscuit--and both delicious. Where the Macrina jam-filled biscuit is buttery and lightly crumbly, the Watertown biscuit is a little more...almost cookielike, or shortcake-y, and a little less crumbly. It is perfectly paired with a generous dollop of jam, and makes for an exceedingly sweet little morning treat (sizewise, they qualify more as breakfast accompaniment than main dish).

Biscuits from Watertown Coffee, 550 12th Ave., Seattle; online here.

Watertown Coffee on Urbanspoon

Seeing Red: Cocoa Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake for Serious Eats

So, today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. How are you celebrating?

My suggestion? Don your Strawberry Shortcake cartoon character tee from the 1980s, work up an appetite, and make a big batch of Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake.

The biscuits in this version take a flavor (and, if desired, color) cue from the classic Southern cake, making use of buttermilk, cocoa and red food coloring, which lends a subtle sweetness which works wonderfully with freshly made whipped cream and strawberries, and makes for a very pretty presentation.

Read more--and find the recipe--on Serious Eats!