For You, With Thanks

I didn’t expect green beans to bring up such a great discussion on traditions, sharing of poems and how a piece of writing can linger with you. So thank you for that. Your comments pointed out how important people and place are and how food takes the back seat when it  comes right down to it. Even if you feel quite warm towards Thanksgiving and are looking forward to next week, reading about recipe suggestions and meal planning online and in magazines can start to feel tiresome right about now. Why? Because I suppose when it all comes down to it, in the big picture it doesn’t matter what we all serve anyway. Next year, you likely won’t remember one year’s vegetable side dish from another. What you’ll remember are the markers that dotted the year for you: whom you sat next to at the table, a toast or grace, and the sense of gratitude you felt for something — large or small.

I started this blog because, like many of you, I love the way food brings people together. I like the conversations that happen, I like the collaboration, I like the stories. I don’t get much out of making recipes alone in my kitchen unless I’m sharing them with others around me. Often this is with Sam. But just as often, really, it’s walking a plate down to the local coffee shop to share with our favorite baristas or giving cookies or pie away to friends. So in thinking about a pre-Thanksgiving post and the one recipe I wanted to share with you before the big day, I kept circling away from the food and towards the gratitude piece of it all. Right this second, I’m thankful for this community (you!), for the opportunity to work for myself doing something I love, for the crisp fall we’ve been having in Seattle, for the satsumas in the market, and for Sam’s mulled tequila toddy recipe. I’m thankful that I get to visit with my family next week,  that I’m able to just up and fly home whenever I please, and that I have a business that’s busy enough to make that stressful this year.

I don’t talk about new things going on with Marge much in this space, but if you’re curious and if you like granola, you should hop on over and sign up for our newsletter. I only send it out once a season (at best) and the next issue will have a great coupon for holiday ordering. In fact, I want to send you some granola to try now!  I’m not much of a giveaway gal because I can never find an authentic way to work it into a post and really would only do so if it was something I loved. But granola I can do. So if you leave a note here about what you’re thankful for this year, I’ll choose a random winner on Wednesday, November 21 (day before Thanksgiving) and send you a package with all 3 of our current flavors. I really am looking forward to reading your responses!

And now, we’re overdue for a talk on biscuits. And honey butter (I’ve decided this is something we should all just have around in general, biscuits or no biscuits). Now, I love towering, flaky biscuits as much as the next person. These are not those biscuits although they are no less delicious. They’re a drop biscuit so they won’t get those flaky layers but they’re still quite light, rustic in nature, and have a knock-out flavor from the marriage of sweet potato and rosemary. Sure, they’re not towering but they perch happily at the dinner table and sneak on into breakfast territory quite naturally, too. I made a few different versions of sweet potato biscuits before ultimately setting off on my own. I started with a recipe from Martha Hall Foose’s charming book, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, in which she has you melt the butter and uses white flour and a bit of sugar. They turned out quite tasty but they were a bit heavier than I wanted, so I started fresh with a version that has you working the butter into the flour, adding a smattering of rosemary, and relying on my favorite combination of white flour/spelt flour. There’s no sifting or rolling or turning the dough. Just mix, scoop, and bake. Easy. Just what we could all use a bit more of this time of year.

I hope that you have a very happy Thanksgiving filled with people you get a kick out of in a place that makes you feel at home. Sam and I will be in California with my family, those green beans, Moscow Mules and a few days without work. Yes.

Herbed Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter

Herbed Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter

  • Yield: 9-10 biscuits
  • Prep time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr 40 mins

A quick one-bowl affair, these biscuits bake up a beautiful dark orange color and have a slightly herbed, buttery flavor. You don’t have to mash away all of the chunks in your sweet potatoes;  drop biscuits are meant to be less refined and a few bits of sweet potato are just fine. Avoid the temptation to boil your potatoes instead of baking them as the instructions indicate — boiling them will draw in extra moisture that will change the texture of these biscuits.

Ingredients

For the Biscuits:

3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes (about 1 large)
3/4 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, chopped finely
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup whole milk

For the Honey Butter:

¾ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey

Instructions

For the honey butter: whisk together the butter and honey until creamy.

Prepare the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork a few times, and place right on oven rack for about 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, peel away the skin of the potato and mash well with a fork or potato masher.

For the biscuits: Increase the oven temperature to 425 F. Butter a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, salt and herbs.Using a pastry blender or the tips of your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it’s the consistency of coarse meal. Add the milk and mashed sweet potatoes and stir them into the dry ingredients until they’re incorporated and a dough has formed.

Drop the dough in 2-3 tablespoon dollops onto the baking sheet. If you have a big ice cream scoop, it’s quite useful here. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until biscuits have risen and their tops are firm to the touch and golden. Serve warm or let cool on wire rack. These biscuits are best the day they’re made although covered and stored at room temperature, they’re fine the next day, too (I warm them in this case before serving).

Comments

  1. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Another beautiful post Megan! This year, I am thankful for my health. I have heard so many stories lately about illness and death, plus I work in a hospital. I am so very thankful for the good health of myself and those I love. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Gayle

    I just made cornbread and MAPLE butter. I'm thankful for the last farmers market of the season on Monday...Happy holidays!

  3. Jeb

    I should be embarrassed by how much time I spent looking at the screen and thinking, "GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!" I can't wait to make these, though, I'm concerned I will just wind up making the butter and putting it on everything. Ah well.

    Currently, I'm thankful for the very warm sweater that is keeping me from developing frostbite in my very cold office!

    1. megang

      Jeb: beware. You will put the honey butter on everything. I speak from experience. Happy Thanksgiving, friend! Stay warm.

  4. Melissa // thefauxmartha

    I'm thankful for having my mom in town for an entire week (and having a job flexible enough to let me spend most of the time with her).

  5. Brittany

    Those biscuits look delicious. I might need to make this and pul an egg in the middle! Right now I'm so thankful for the quiet moments in my life. They seem to be few and far between, but today I have a moment to read a couple of my favorite blogs and drink some coffee.

  6. little kitchie

    i want these right right now! yum!!!! honey butter is killer. thanks for the recipe!

  7. Jacqui

    I can't believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away! This post made me think of my dad's mashed potatoes. How I love his mashed potatoes not only because they're delicious but also, because they're his. So that's just one of the things I'm thankful for this year. I'm also thankful for being able to get our first Christmas tree this year! :) Happy holidays, M. xo

    1. megang

      I can't believe it either, Jacqui! Where has time gone? That's awesome that your dad has a recipe he's truly known for. Potatoes are important, too. Gotta get those right. We're getting our first Christmas tree together this year, too. Can't wait ... have a wonderful holiday, ~m

  8. alyssa

    I've got a batch of granola I've been mowing down on for the better part of the week now, but I could always use some more. I must say one of the things I'm most thankful for is knowing how to cook, preserve and bake. Everyone seems so surprised when I describe my adventures in the kitchen, I'm thankful it doesn't intimidate me as it does to others.

  9. Mabel @ mdcooksfor2

    I'm thankful for being able to spend thanksgivings with my boyfriends family and for them for having electricity back this week since hurricane sandy hit.

    Will make these soon!

  10. Sara L.

    There's a fantastic oyster bar (Island Creek) here in Boston which you really should visit next time you are here. They serve a honey butter with their bread at every meal, and they add cayenne pepper to it as well for just the slightest little kick. It's such a treat every time I'm there.

    Anyhow, I'm especially thankful this year for my fuzzy little cat that greets me with a hello every day after work, my sister (well, my whole family, but my sister especially this year), and amaro nonino (because it's currently my FAVE post work cocktail). :)

    PS: I can't wait to make these biscuits!!

    1. megang

      Oooh, Sara. Amaro Nonino sounds delightful. Bitter, yes? Thanks for the oyster bar recommendation. I don't get back to Boston much, but I'll put it on my list for my next visit (maybe book tour?!). Hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy a little down time, ~m

  11. Hannah M.

    I'm thankful for so many things this year-up at the top of the list are family, health, and all those big things. But right now, at this particular moment, I'm also thankful for the beautiful light outside my window which is hitting the bricks just so and making them glow as if they were lit from the inside.

  12. Amy P

    I'm thankful for family, for my brand new nephew who my sister and her husband are meeting at THIS VERY MOMENT, for hugs, the therapy and solace I find in cooking and stitching, for long walks, deep breaths, and family. (Yes, I said family twice. It's been that kind of year.) Oh, also warm socks, heat, coffee, and sweaters.

    1. megang

      Family was big this year, Amy. You've got a new little one at the table -- so awesome! I don't stich, but I do knit and I'm really looking forward to getting back into it when I turn in the book in a few weeks. It's so methodical and slow and wonderful. And YES to heat, coffee and sweaters. Seriously. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Amy! xx, m

  13. Stacy

    Love the recipes! I am thinking the kiddos are gonna dig the biscuits ;)

  14. Beth

    I am thankful that my daughter is coming home from college today for Thanksgiving break!

  15. Stacy

    Ooh and I am thankful for so much these days, especially my awesome little family!

  16. Stacy

    In a bit of a transitional season of life, I am thankful for baking, which I've been doing an awful lot of lately. I am grateful for the process, and the way that things come together to create a beautiful product time and time again. Constancy, something to count on. And as a result of the effort, nourishment to sustain me and those I love. (Happy Thanksgiving to you!!)

    1. megang

      Stacy: I feel the same way about baking. There are days when I just feel frazzled and nothing seems to bring about any order or calm and then I get in the kitchen and make a loaf of bread or a batch of brownies, and all starts to come together. Happy baking + happy Thanksgiving to you, too! ~m

  17. Amy L

    Among other things, I'm thankful that my oldest daughter is married to a wonderful young man, and that...eventually...they plan to give us some grandchildren :)
    Happy Thankksgiving!

  18. Karlyn

    I'm thankful for every opportunity and every disappointment.

    I'm grateful for the chance to start new each day.

    I am thankful for an intelligent electorate.

  19. Susan

    I am thankful for the loved ones in my life, both human and animal. My family, friends and critters are what make my world joyous!

  20. momgordon

    Sitting here reading about honey butter...my Grandma Litz always had that in the house and made biscuits almost even morning when we visited her. Somehow full circle. She'd be smiling! Cannot wait to see you!!! xox

  21. Sharon

    I'm grateful for family, friends and blogs that have expanded my cooking world. Sweet potato biscuits, who would have thought? I'm grateful for all that I have, and for those I've lost. Every Thanksgiving is now more special than the last.

  22. Alicia

    Thank you for the recipe to make the sweet potato biscuits since it's something else that I can do the massive sweet potato in the kitchen waiting to be eaten. I'm thankful for the health of my parents and their mutual support of each other and of me during these touch economic times. They've made my life far more bearable.

  23. Sara Forte

    Moscow Mules. Yes! I hope you get some down time with the family. I know you've been working your buns off. I love your granola, and I really need to try the cocoa nib flavor!!!
    I'm so thankful for my everyday. We overlook our "routines" pretty easily. This past year was pretty scattered. A lot happened and there are still, within this year, more big decisions to think about. In that chaos, be it in my own head primarily, I came back to the simple things tht I am so thankful for. My sweet husband, that I love my apartment with a garage and lots of kitchen storage, we eat good food, have close family, I know thoughtful people and that now more than ever, I believe my career and work can be as fulfilling as I want to make it. I know that's not one thing, but all these little things make my big thing - I'm just thankful for my life and all the parts that make it whole.

    1. megang

      YES you need to try the cacao nib flavor, Sara. I think they hadn't yet started carrying it at Bi Rite when you and Hugh were there. I loved your comment because I often think of our typical "routines" as kind of blah: get up, coffee, work at home, granola shipping, figure out dinner. But they also ground me and there's little bits that I look forward to so much. So I"m thankful for them, too! There are a lot of little things to be grateful for (partners, great food, family) ... it's been a good year, friend. We're lucky ladies. Have a great holiday! Sending lots of love from Seattle, m

  24. Thelma

    I am thankful for my sweet and beautiful grandaughter, Amy, eight months old who I will be visiting tomorrow up in No. California. BTW, I just made the biscuits and promptly ate two ( buurrp! excuse me! LOL ). They were awesome! I will be making them again next week for the family.

  25. Melissa

    I'm thankful for my Sam! He will be 7 months this month and although those 7 seven months have been filled with sleepless nights and worry; they have also been filled with gummy smiles, raspberry kisses and a love I could never imagine. He makes me a better person. I get outside more, I'm more patient, I know what matters and I'm so very very thankful!

    1. megang

      That's awesome, Melissa! I bet it's getting easier each week (this is what I hear anyway). Enjoy the holiday with Sam (his first!). ~m

  26. maureen

    i'm thankful for my grandparents. their health is failing, but they were able to come to my wedding this past June.

  27. Mallory

    I am completely on board for these biscuits. This year, I am so thankful for every twist and turn my life has made to get me to this point. And also for our beautiful fall.

  28. Allison

    I am thankful for my family, and their support. I don't know what I would do without them, and am looking forward to seeing them next week.

  29. Shanna

    The thing I love so much about gratitude is that once you start, you just keep going. I read your post and think how thankful I am for blogs to break up my workdays and inspire my cooking, and I read the comments and I think how thankful I am to hear windows into peoples lives, some of whom, through blogging, feel like friends. And then I think about my husband, Tim, and how he, just yesterday, listened to me break down crying next to the vacuum, telling him the story of something that had made me feel hurt.

    I'm thankful you asked us to name one thing because it's got me thinking about more things. I need that.

    1. megang

      Shanna! Agree. I was hesitant to do this sort of gratitude post because I felt like I'd done it before and subtly do it often on the blog, but I started to write about it and couldn't stop. Always a good sign. I'm thankful for blogs too and for this awesome little corner of the internet we all share. Have a great Thanksgiving with Tim. xx, m

  30. Sarah

    Those biscuits look delicious! Right now I'm thankful for my sister and being able to Skype with her while she lives all the way across the state.

  31. Shila

    I'm particularly grateful for adopted families. What I mean is the family members that you gain for whatever reason, and get seamlessly incorporated into your own. I get the pleasure of spending this holiday with my boyfriends' family, which will involve many cups of tea in chilly massachusetts and a traditonal Tofurkey dinner. It totally feels like a bonus to get to know his family and neck of the woods. And recently had an early thanksgiving with my family and my brother's new girlfriend, and it was really nice to get to know her and ease into a new routine of sorts.

    I'm not the most social person the best hostess (totally working on that), but it's the best feeling when someone welcomes you into their home or life. I'm grateful I get to share holidays and beautiful meals with so many loved ones, new and not so new.

    I'm glad Marge is doing well and cannot wait for the breakfast grains book! Have a restful holiday.

    1. megang

      Thanks so much for your comment, Shila. Sounds like Massachusetts will be wonderful (and yes, cold). I was a vegetarian for almost 15 years and never did the Tofurkey for whatever reason. I'm still curious about it! I agree regarding adopted family: they become part of the tradition quickly, too. Have a great holiday and safe travels, ~m

  32. Ashley

    I am crazy thankful for my husband - he's the best combination of hilarious and kind. I'm also thankful for my family and their ability (even now that I'm an adult) to both embarrass me and make me laugh.

    1. megang

      Ashley: Funny is important, isn't it? I mean really important. Glad you've got that in your corner. Have a great week, m

  33. Kathy Sidoti

    I'm so very thankful that this is the year I've finally discovered the joys of healthful eating! And I'm very grateful to generous people like you, who are so gracious in guiding me to better health. Thank you!

    1. megang

      Hooray, Kathy! So glad to hear it. Thanks so much for reaching out and saying hello, ~m

  34. Pam

    I am truly thankful for food bloggers! I used to find cooking so terribly lonely and too many cookbooks have no photos so the whole process of menu planning felt like a chore. Since discovering your blog, which has gratefully led me to others, I LOVE to try the new recipes that you bring alive with your wonderful photos and the vibrant personality in your stories. Thank you Megan and other food bloggers for being so generous as to share your talent and vetted recipes.

    1. megang

      So nice to hear from you, Pam. Thank you so much for your sweet words. Glad you're enjoying the blog and finding other inspiration through it, too (isn't that the best part about this community?) Have a great week, m

  35. ileana

    Have a lovely time in California! Moscow Mules sound great. I'm bringing home some wine but counting on my padrino for some mojitos (very appropriate for a Miami Thanksgiving). As for what I'm thankful for this year, it's Danny, my boyfriend. We are celebrating two years together this weekend, and I'm so happy to be with someone who makes everything better.

    xo

    1. megang

      Thanks so much, Ileana! And congratulations on your anniversary this weekend. This will be my second Thanksgiving with Sam this year, too. Enjoy your holiday! ~m

  36. jenny

    you had me with that first photo, but adding rosemary to these biscuits totally sent this recipe over the top in the best possible way. I'm bringing dessert to our thanksgiving gathering, but I think I'll make these next weekend for a low-key brunch.

    this year, I'm grateful for a truly remarkable support system of friends and family. as a small business owner, I've dealt with some serious stresses over the last 18 months, but through all the highs and lows, my dear friends and family have been there with encouragement, kind words, and Pinkberry when I needed it. :) I couldn't be more humbled by the way they've put their arms around me.

    happy thanksgiving!

  37. HTBaking

    These look delicious, I enjoy sweet potato baked good better than pumpkin so I am going to try these soon. I am thankful for the joy that baking brings me and the joy I bring my friends and family when I share :)

  38. Ashley

    I'm thankful for having my family and my husband's family living close by so that we can celebrate Thanksgiving together. This has never happened before! Usually we'd have to spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with another.

  39. Lisa

    I'm thankful for so much, we are so blessed. I have a wonderful husband, 2 wonderful children, my mom, an abundance of friends and relatives, food in my fridge. The list goes on and on. My prayers are for those who have lost things this year --be it a home, a job, a child, a parent, whatever--- prayers that they will find healing and happiness again.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all! This is a great blog--I look forward to each post :0)

  40. Sarah

    I am thankful to spend some one on one time with my parents. It doesn't happen very often as I live out of state. I am also thankful for my skewed perspective that 16 people is a small group of people to celebrate Thanksgiving with in a given year.

  41. Alana

    The one hole in my menu might be filled now- I thought potato rolls? biscuits? I've been mulling over the bread question, but I think this might just do the trick. And this year? Oh the list! But at this moment, I have to admit that I'm just plain thankful for having so much love in my life. That just about sums it up. Happy week to you, Megan, and thanks for this moment! Reading through all the responses to this post has started this day off right. xo

  42. katherine d

    I'm thankful for finding the love of my life - who just proposed to me last week (:

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. Michael Schneider

    I don't have anything to say about biscuits, and I'm one of those people who can't get really excited about Thanksgiving, but I love granola, so here's my Comment.

  44. molly

    Perhaps this will be the thing that gets one of my children, ANY of my children, to eat a sweet potato (how can one NOT love a sweet potato? i've three who don't. sigh. but who love biscuits. hmmm....)

    I am grateful, always, for the little things, the crisp brittle heads of last month's flowers and the smell of turkey stock burbling as I type and the fact that, although I left the dentist with orders to have two cavities filled (double sigh), at least it wasn't four. And for this amazing community of thinkers and writers, feelers and bakers. So glad of that.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Megan.

    xo
    Molly

  45. Kate

    I am thankful for many little things; i have a job, a lovely other half, a recent visit from my mam across the ocean, opportunities to travel, my health and the health of family and friends...all in all not too shabby!:)

  46. Denise

    Funny, I was thinking about the same conversation the past few days.
    What to really be thankful for. Sure, the food is a big part of the day, and is important; but, for me, especially this year it was about more. It was about being with people I love and care for. Being thankful that the ones who are in my life are happy, healthy and loved. The food was good but the happiness was what really feed me. I guess it reminded me of the little things in life and how we take those moments for granted. I know we need to stop more often and cherish the moment and make more moments happen. Because you never know when tomorrow may not be there.

    I am, also, grateful for biscuits and it has been something on my mind for a bit now. Have not made a sweet potato one but have a feeling it will be in our very near future. xo

  47. The Cozy Herbivore

    Oh good Lord, YES. Sweet potato biscuits with herbs. Honey butter. Yes, yes, yes. This is the comfort food I'm craving right now-- thank YOU so much for sharing!

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