Now that Halloween is passed, my brain is firmly planted on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the goodness the holidays bring. The word that comes to mind when I think about Thanksgiving is warmth.
My family, or as we refer to it as Familee, is a nutty, special mix of people and while I don't get to see all my siblings that often throughout the year, the holidays are the one time we all do our very best to congregate. Our Thanksgiving is usually filled with laughs, debates, nieces and puppies running about, and good food.
I've been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family for the past 3 years now, and it's so funny to me to see how my cooking has evolved over the years. First year it was pretty standard everything out of a can and my big triumph was the 18lb Turkey and homemade mashed potatoes. Then compare it to last year with a more elaborate spread, now I'm feeling the pressure to step my game up. My family has a very big range of tastes, so it's a balancing act trying to please everyone. For an feast like Thanksgiving dinner, it's trickiest to toe the line between healthy but still hearty and traditional.
I made pumpkin crescent rolls from scratch last year, and that was the first bread-like thing I had made. This year, I wanted to try something new, and I think I've found my recipe that will make my family happy while still staying on the mindfully healthy side. These biscuits are made with oat, rice, and tapioca flours, making them gluten-free, and have the nutrition of sweet potatoes without ruining it with all that heavy cream and multiple sticks of butter.
The rolls I made last year involved yeast and a ton of kneading- happy to report that this one requires far less manual labor and fewer steps. Also, I decided on Thyme instead of Rosemary as I originally was planning, because my roasted sweet potatoes with thyme-infused olive oil last year was a hit with the family. You don't mess with success when it comes to tastebuds.
Enough chat, onto baking!
Sweet Potato-Thyme Holiday Biscuits
*makes 1 dozen
1 1/4 cup of cold Sweet Potato Purée (about 3 small sweet potatoes)
1 1/4 cup Oat Flour + few extra tbsp for rolling out dough
2/3 cup Rice Flour
1/3 cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
4 tbsp extra chilled grass-fed Butter (or vegan butter!), cubed
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp fresh or 1/2 tbsp dried Thyme leaves + sprigs for garnish
For Cinnamon-Nutmeg Maple Butter
1.5 tbsp grass-fed Butter, melted
Sprinkles of ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg, to taste
1 tsp pure Maple Syrup
1. Make dairy-free buttermilk by mixing the almond milk and lemon juice in a small dish, and set aside to curdle.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: all three flours (save some oat flour for rolling out dough), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine well with a whisk.
3. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the sweet potato purée into the flour mixture until crumbly dough forms. Cut in the butter to the mixture (make sure it is extra cold!) using pastry blender or fork. The mixture should be very crumbly at this point.
5. Pour in the "buttermilk" little pours at a time, you may not need all of it. The dough should be mildly tacky and hold together but not sticky/goopy. If you put too much in, add in some oat flour to even it back out.
6. Ball up the dough and turn out on a floured slab or non stick surface. Sprinkle some additional flour on top of the dough ball, and proceed to roll out to about 3/4" thick. Use a biscuit (or fun cookie cutter) cutter to cut shapes out of dough. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops of biscuits with half of the cinnamon-nutmeg maple butter, and press a sprig of fresh thyme on top of each biscuit.
7. Pop baking sheet into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, no need to cover, and preheat the oven to 450ºF.
8. Place baking sheet into oven for about 15 minutes or until biscuits puff up and start to crackle on the surfaces. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes, and serve!