Southern Symphony: Buttermilk Biscuits and Chocolate Sauce

I first became interested in cooking as a young child.  My mom grew up down south, a transplant here to the Pacific Northwest, but she always allowed her southern roots to flourish.  One breakfast tradition was her buttermilk biscuits with chocolate sauce.  I remember my mom only made this for special occasions, usually when we had overnight company or family members staying with us.  I remember how I would wake up in the morning, smell the aroma of the buttermilk biscuits sizzling in her seasoned cast iron skillet, and hear her diligently whisking the buttery chocolate sauce.  At this very moment, as I close my eyes, I am transported back to those fond childhood memories.

My mom religiously used “Betty Crocker‘s” Buttermilk Biscuit recipe.  She said once you find perfection, stop experimenting.  I’m a dough girl.  The taste of buttermilk biscuit dough transports me back to being a young child and slyly stealing the scraps of dough from the counter.  So, giving full credit to Betty Crocker, below is her recipe.

My mom made a couple minor alterations to the original recipe.   My mom would mix 1/8 shortening and 1/8 Crisco to equal a total of 1/4 cup, but with the issues related to trans-fat these days, I prefer to substitute butter.  My mom also used to preheat her cast iron skillet, spray it with cooking spray, arrange the biscuits, and then bake.  She said that was southern tradition.

Betty Crocker’s Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1/4 tsp soda

Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray. Place flour in large bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk; stir with fork until soft dough forms and mixture begins to pull away from sides of bowl.

On lightly floured surface, knead dough just until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 2-inch round cutter. Place biscuits with sides touching on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

My mom used to always make a warm chocolate sauce to accompany the biscuits.  She said the key to making the silky chocolate sauce was butter, butter, and more butter.  My parents are in the process of moving and my mom’s all things southern  “Foxfire” cookbook has been misplaced; however, Ms. Paula Dean does an excellent rendition of this same sauce, or rather chocolate gravy.

1/3 stick butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups whole milk

Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over low heat. Mix in sugar, flour and cocoa. Slowly pour 1 cup of milk into the skillet and whisk well to remove lumps. Whisk in remaining milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, being careful not to scorch.  Serve hot over biscuits.


One response to this post.

  1. […]  Buttermilk Biscuits – As a young child when my mom would pull the cast iron skillet with warm buttermilk biscuits […]


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