Filled with layers of texture and flavor, the outside is crunchy, the inside soft and savory. This toothsome biscuit is from The Cornbread Gospels, a cookbook filled with wisdom and downright delicious recipes compiled by the passionate author Crescent Dragonwagon. Schooled in Southern cornbread for 33 years, Ms. Dragonwagon delighted travelers from near and far at the Dairy Hollow House in my home town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Savory Almond Herb Biscuits
from The Cornbread Gospels, by Crescent Dragonwagon
½ cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon plus1/3 cup cold butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon assorted fresh finely minced herbs
(I used thyme, rosemary & parsley from my kitchen garden)
Makes 12 large biscuits.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with oil.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and add the almonds, stirring constantly, toast until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer almonds to a cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop.
Add one tablespoon butter to the skillet, when the butter melts, add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the garlic.
While the onion and garlic mixture cools, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the remaining 1/3 cup butter using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture has the consistency of fine crumbs.
Pour the buttermilk into the skillet, stir gently, scraping up any flavorsome bits of onion or garlic that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour this into the cornmeal and flour mixture, stirring with as few strokes as possible to blend the wet and dry ingredients, stopping while there are still some dry clumps. Add the reserved almonds and the herbs and stir a few more times.
Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, 10-15 minutes. Serve with additional butter if desired.
You’ll be tempted to eat them all, but save a few for breakfast!