Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Biscuits + My 2nd Fox News Appearance!

Glorious strawberries are coming into season here in Alabama, and what better way to celebrate than with a decadently delicious Strawberry Shortcake??  But, not just any old Strawberry Shortcake, my friends.  I've created a recipe for Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Biscuits that make such an absolutely perfect addition to the traditional strawberry shortcake recipe. 

And guess what?  I recently got to share this recipe on a Good Day Alabama cooking segment on Fox 6 News here in Birmingham, which is scheduled to air on Monday morning, April 30th!   I couldn't be more excited to share this experience and recipe with you all.  I'll update this post with a link to the video as soon as it's ready!

I'm particularly proud of the Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Biscuit recipe.  I wanted to find a way to kick things up a notch when it came to regular ole' buttermilk biscuits.  Toasted pecans add such an incredible flavor.  And the beautiful thing is, is that these biscuits are equally delicious served with dinner, alongside your favorite jam and butter.

As a southern gal, I remember helping my grandmother make biscuits when I was just knee-high to a grasshopper.  :)  You might remember some of my earlier stories about standing on a chair next to the kitchen counter with her, with one of my granddaddy's undershirts on as my "apron" so my clothes wouldn't get dirty.  I'd use an upside-down sweet tea glass as a biscuit cutter.  Oh, the memories.  My grandmother was such a special lady....I sure do miss her.

Homemade biscuits are so easy to make, especially when using a food processor as I'll show you in this recipe.  Of course, you can still use a trusty pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour, but a food processor does a great job if you're in a hurry.  So often, biscuits are eaten out of a can, but isn't it so wonderful to bite into a made-from-scratch biscuit that only takes a few minutes to whip together?  So, if you have a little "helper" of your own, get into the kitchen and make some fun memories together!  

Bon Appetit!

Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Biscuits

 So happy that my sweet sisters, Maranne and Suzanne, and my awesome hubby were all there to cheer me on!  (That's Brad behind the camera)  :-)

Setting up...almost show time!

Maranne shows off her lovely strawberry arranging skills...

Looking yummy!

And here we go!!!

Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Biscuits


For the Toasted Pecan Biscuits:
2 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted, minced pecans
6 tbsp COLD butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup - 1 cup cold buttermilk

For the Strawberries:
2 lbs. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar

For the Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar


To Prepare the Pecans:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a heaping 1/4 cup of pecans on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.

Remove from the oven and allow pecans to cool completely before proceeding.  If in a hurry, place the pecans in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

Once pecans have cooled completely, place them in the bowl of a food processor, along with 2 tsp of all-purpose flour.  Pulse several times until pecans are finely minced into tiny pieces.  

1.  When pulsing pecans, use short, quick pulses.  This, along with the addition of 2 tsp of flour, will help keep the mixture from becoming pecan paste while processing.
2.  Be sure to prepare the pecans well in advance.  You'll need to allow plenty of time for them to cool before making the biscuits.

To Prepare the Strawberry Filling:
Place the sliced strawberries in a large bowl.  Sprinkle 4 tbsp of granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp of light brown sugar over the strawberries and mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes - 1 hour.  The sugar will draw out the natural juices of the strawberries and create a syrup.

To Make the Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.

Add the White Lily flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 cup minced pecans to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse 1 - 2 times to thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Next, add the cubes of cold butter to the bowl and pulse the mixture about 7 times.  The trick here is to not over-process the dough and to use short, quick pulses.  You want to have small pieces of butter, about the size of peas.

Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Add the buttermilk and stir lightly just until most of the flour is incorporated (Remember - Don't over-work the dough!).  At this point, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead the dough very, very gently, just until it comes together.

Pat the dough into a 1-inch thick circle, and cut the biscuits using a sharp biscuit-cutter.  Take the leftover dough and very, very lightly press it into another 1 inch circle, repeating the process until all dough has been used (about 6 large biscuits).

Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet so that they are touching each other.  Bake in the 450 degree preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until risen and golden brown.  

For the Whipped Cream:
While the biscuits are baking, place 2 cups of heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.  Add 2 tbsp. of granulated sugar and whip on medium-high speed. 

To Assemble:
Cut a biscuit in half using a fork.  Spoon the desired amount of strawberry filling onto the biscuit, along with freshly whipped cream.  Place the top of the biscuit onto the top of the dessert, and garnish with additional whipped cream and a few extra strawberries.


Tips for Perfect, High-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits:
  1. Don't over-work the dough.
  2. Work quickly, keeping the ingredients cold.
  3. Be sure to use a southern flour, like White Lily.  Southern flours are made from soft winter wheat, so they have a much lower protein content than other flours.  That means lighter, fluffier, and more tender biscuits!
  4. Toast the pecans far enough in advance so that they have plenty of time to cool before you start.  
  5. It's very important that you use fresh baking powder and baking soda.  These leavening agents do not stay fresh forever and as they age, they lose their ability to do their job, which is making those biscuits rise! 
  6. Use COLD butter, because once that cold butter hits the hot oven, it will create steam and cause the biscuits to rise higher.   
  7. Press straight down when cutting the biscuits.  Don't turn the cutter as you press down!  This will seal the edges and keep the biscuits from rising high.
  8. Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet so that they are touching each other, which is said to help them rise higher. 


Erin said...

The biscuits look wonderful! What a great idea!
And congratulations on all of these TV appearances recently...that's awesome!

Kim - Liv Life said...

What a treat these biscuits are!! Congrats on the tv appearance, how exciting is that??
Definitely a recipe to have on hand!