Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Anti-Snooze Button

If I could have hot biscuits waiting for me every morning, I might be able to convince myself to get out of bed early enough to enjoy one or two. But since I’d have to be the one doing the creating of said biscuits, well, it just ain’t gonna happen. As I’ve said (a time or twelve), I am not a morning person.

More a morning ogre.

Anyway, I was looking for something not-too-sweet to go with my morning espresso, and I think these fit the bill. Not a lot of sugar (relatively speaking when it comes to traditional gooey type breakfast pastries) and using a bittersweet chocolate (although you can certainly go for a semi-sweet if you need that extra boost of sweetness) really put these just on the edge of savory and sweet.

Of course, feel free to douse them in a vanilla glaze if that’s the way you roll.

Vanilla sugar is, of course, optional here. It did add a nice extra ‘note’, though. You can substitute regular sugar or brown sugar, add nuts, etc. Go crazy. You may see these again later in a totally savory rendition.

Chocolate Morning Biscuits

2 cups flour
1Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 Tbs cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup half & half
3 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbs - ¼ cup vanilla sugar
4 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well blended. With a pastry cutter (you can also use a couple of knives in a pinch), cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly but pea-sized pieces of butter still remain. Pour in half & half and stir until mixture is combined. Turn out onto floured surface and knead just until mixture comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll into a 13” x 11” rectangle.

Spread softened butter evenly over dough, then sprinkle vanilla sugar and chocolate chunks evenly over entire surface. Beginning with one long side, roll up jellyroll style and pinch loose edges when finished. Push in both ends to even up edges.

Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 equal portions and place cut side up on a baking sheet, about 2” apart.

(option: You can brush the tops with a mixture of egg and milk, then sprinkle with sugar if desired. I left this out.)

Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 18 minutes. Best served warm.

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