Last-Minute Biscuits

It happens all the time: I plan some kind of lovely, semi-elaborate meal that takes hours to prepare…and then, minutes before I’m ready to put everything out on the table, I remember that little carbohydrate issue. And that issue is: carbohydrates are, to my mind, not in the realm of the optional. They must be present at every meal, and in vast quantities, please.

These biscuits are a fabulous rescue in such situations, because they take maybe five minutes to whip up (plus an additional 12-15 minutes baking time), and if you’re the kind of person who keeps shortening around, you almost certainly have everything you need sitting right there in your cupboard.

While technically I suppose they’d be considered dinner biscuits, I also need to mention that they make a fantastic breakfast (I like a little apple butter on top), and if you add some whipped cream and sliced strawberries, presto: easiest-ever Strawberry Shortcake.


What you need:

2 cups flour (plus more for sprinkling)

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 tbsp shortening

3/4 cup milk

 What you do:

1. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the shortening until you get a nice, pebbly texture.

3. Stir in the milk.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and, with lightly floured hands, knead 20-30 times, until the dough holds together and is slightly elastic.

5. Pat down the dough until it’s about 1/4″ thick, and then use a small glass to cut out circles (you’ll get 8-10, depending on the size of the glass you use.

6. Place your biscuits on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a 450F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

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