Sweet potato and bacon biscuits à la Emeril Lagasse

I’m going to start right off with a confession: I started buying sweet potatoes to feed the dog. That’s right, my hot puppy kibble salad recipe has gotten completely out of hand, and . . .  well, I’ll save that for another time. You see, growing up, we only ate them at Thanksgiving, and then dotted with gooey marshmallows, a dish I found quite unappealing. But I’ve learned as I’ve been cooking them for the dog that sweet potatoes are really quite delicious as long as you leave off the sugar goo! I do feel a teeny-tiny bit badly now for having deprived my poor boys of the tasty tubers during their formative years.

But that is changing. Since Koah started eating them, I keep several sweet potatoes in the big vegetable bowl on my counter along with red and yellow onions, garlic, and white potatoes. They finally made the leap to People Food today; my in-laws were coming over for brunch, and as I browsed for a quick homemade biscuit recipe to make, Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for sweet potato-bacon biscuits caught my eye. I would have just made the recipe as written, except the process got very mixed reviews; most who commented thought the dough was way too wet. Since I was also making a batch of Julia Child’s herb biscuits and the dough was perfect, I changed his proportions of dry ingredients to match hers. I also used some whole wheat flour for body, lard instead of butter for lightness, doubled the bacon, a generous amount of black pepper for zing, and used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk, as that was all I had. Aren’t they gorgeous?

These are moist enough to eat alone – the boys gobbled them up just plain before we ate. I made a little sandwich with a bit of ham and my must-try cranberry sauce. They’re quite elegant and in-law friendly, but quick and easy enough to toss off in under an hour at home. Here is the recipe – make them and let me know what you think:

Sweet potato and bacon biscuits à la Emeril Lagasse
 
These slightly sweet and salty biscuits are moist enough to eat alone. Depending on how thick you roll the dough, this recipe yields 18-24 biscuits. If the lard scares you go ahead and use butter. Just please no hydrogenated fats!
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 tbsp chilled lard
  • 1 cup mashed and cooled sweet potatoes (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 8 slices cooked bacon, drained and crumbled
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut in the lard.
  4. Blend until mixture is crumbly.
  5. Whip sweet potato and brown sugar together in a separate bowl for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Add all at once to the flour mixture
  7. Add yogurt.
  8. Mix together gently with a spoon.
  9. Add crumbled bacon.
  10. Stir again.
  11. Turn out on a well-floured surface knead lightly with your hands until dough is a smooth ball. It will be a bit sticky; add flour as needed.
  12. Roll dough into a ½" sheet.
  13. Cut into circles
  14. Arrange biscuits on greased baking sheet.
  15. Cook 10-12 minutes. and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  16. Serve warm
Notes
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes = 3 small to medium. I microwaved them for 6 minutes and they were cooked through. When cooled for 15 minutes, I sliced them in half and scooped out the potato. Start your bacon and sweet potatoes cooking before you preheat the oven. They will be ready when you are.

 

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