When I made these biscuits this morning I had an epiphany. Eating biscuits right out of the oven is exactly what is missing from most American’s lives. The simple pleasure of a warm, slightly crunchy, homemade biscuit – it’s so joyful, so reassuring and yet eludes so many. It took me ten minutes to make the biscuits, but I know my way around the kitchen. My grandmother taught me how to cook, as did my mother and father. My children (both boys) spend countless hours working with me in the kitchen and will find the process of cooking for and with their families in adulthood totally intuitive. But financially struggling families with too many time constraints buy all of their food prepared. It’s highly caloric and for the most part tastes exactly like what it is, processed. We sat this morning around the breakfast table, sipping coffee, eating warm biscuits and life was good, really good.
Lemon Cranberry Buttermilk Biscuits (12 biscuits)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (½ cup) butter, cold
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (packed)
- 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use Meyer lemons)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. It is best if the rack is in the middle of the oven.
Sift together the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the sifted flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and blend with a fork until it forms wet dough. Add the dried cranberries and gently combine with a spoon (don’t use the fork – you’ll destroy the dried fruit).
Using a large metal spoon cut the dough into equal-sized portions and drop by a rounded spoonful onto two ungreased cookie sheets (6 per sheet). They won’t be terribly pretty at this point, but don’t fret, they’ll look great once they are baked. You can gently adjust the dough with your fingers so that each biscuit is slightly rounded. Bake until lightly golden, approximately 15-18 minutes. While the biscuits are baking make the lemon glaze by mixing the sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Wait a minute or two and then drizzle with a small amount of the lemon glaze. Serve immediately or cool on a rack until room temperature and store.