There's one cornmeal drop biscuit recipe that I've made so many countless times I practically have it memorized, and it's from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine. I've come up with crazy riffs, including sugar-free, gluten-free, and (sorry, Bryant, for making it vegetarian, not vegan!) with butter and ghee if that's what I have in my kitchen. I even have experimented adding almond flour to the mix and nixing some of the flour.
This pumpkin cornbread drop biscuit is another one of those wild renditions that came to me when a craving struck. It's so far from the original that I'm calling the recipe my own. It's wholesome and hearty with the whole-wheat flour and pumpkin puree. The cornmeal gives it some grit. Cinnamon and cayenne offer complementary warming spice. It's sweetened (but not overly so!) with a drizzle of maple syrup. And whole-fat Greek yogurt activates the baking soda while neutralizing any bitter flavors from the leaveners and binding the dough together.
I like to bake these drop biscuits in a mini muffin tin so they turn out perfectly portioned. I usually can't stop myself from eating five right out of the oven. I like to serve them alongside a bowl of freshly cooked beans served soupy with their pot liquor (aka the salty, starchy cooking liquid formed after cooking beans), but I could see these being a comforting companion to a big holiday feast too.
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole-fat Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine and mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips, two knives, or the food processor until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture resembles wet sand. Slowly cut in pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and yogurt, either using a fork or food processor, being careful to not overmix, which may result in a gummy texture. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl.
- Into a 24-cup mini muffin tin or on a rimmed baking sheet (spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart), drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of the dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.
- Side Dishes
- North American
- Makes 24 drop biscuits