Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hot Cross Biscuits

I’ve always wanted an Easter bonnet. Where does one acquire one? I’d wear it while I made these hot cross biscuits.

I’m a major lover of biscuits. They’re fast, easy, delicious and the best part for your yeast haters-they come out fluffy and beautiful without an ounce of it!

 Anybody can make a fabulous biscuit. And these hot cross biscuits are just what the Easter bunny ordered to make you feel fantastically festive this holiday. Serve them for breakfast or on the side during dinner for a slightly sweet component.

 I substituted cranberries for currents because I’m just not that into currents-do what moves you-even if that means chocolate chips! But whatever you do, don’t forget the most important part-the tangy cream cheese frosting cross.

These biscuits are a little flaky but soft and subtly sweet with a mild citrus component. And the cream cheese takes it to that next level of deliciousness.  Keep in mind these are best served the day they’re made.

Hot Cross Biscuits
Makes 8-10 biscuits (I made 8 bigger ones)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold (make your own with lemon juice, if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup dried currants, cranberries, or chocolate chips

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add lemon zest.  Add cold butter and, using a pastry cutter (or your fingers if needed) work the butter into the flour mixture until the butter will range in size between small pebbles and oat flakes. Work quickly and do not over combine or you’ll end up with a tougher biscuit-less is more here.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. Toss the add ins (currants, cranberries or chocolate chips) into the dry ingredient mixture, and create a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and use a fork to incorporate the ingredients.  Make sure that all of the flour bits are moistened by the egg and buttermilk but do not over mix.

Dump the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Bring together, kneading lightly, until the dough forms a 1-inch thick (give or take-not measuring here) disk.  Use a biscuit cutter, or if you’re like me, a glass, to cut into rounds. Place on the baking sheet. Gently knead the remaining dough scraps together and repeat.

Brush biscuit tops with buttermilk and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until ever so slightly tan on top. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting with a cross.

For the frosting, in a medium bowl, combine 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons cream cheese, and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Add just a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon if wanted. Mixture will be thick. Scoop the frosting into a zip lock bag or pastry bag and cut off the tip. Pipe crosses onto cooled biscuits and serve.

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