Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

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This is my first Tuesdays With Dorie post as well as my first attempt at making biscuits, and I think they both went well! (Photos of the process here.)

First things first–I’m not a huge biscuit person. Growing up, the most popular kind of bread in our house was bagels (you can eat anything on a bagel!) so the majority of my biscuit consumption has been limited to the rare times I have ordered something at a restaurant that comes with a biscuit. (Every Father’s Day it’s chicken, waffles, and biscuits at Roscoe’s in Hollywood, but that’s a story for another time.)

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits (minus the pecans)

These were good, but not exactly what I imagined them to be. I suppose I should have realized that a biscuit with brown sugar would be a bit sweeter than your everyday biscuit, but for some reason, I ignored that hint. Also, these were definitely a lot denser and browned a lot more than I expected.

And of course, it should be noted I don’t have a round cookie or biscuit cutter, hence the um, flower shaped biscuits. Also, I left out the nuts because nuts in baked goods just ruin everything! (So says my ten-year-old self.)

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup cold sour cream
1/4 cold whole milk
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between– and that’s just right.

Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading– 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even– a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits ca be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting– just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Yields 12 biscuits.

Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.


22 Responses to “Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits”

    laurie on 1 February 26th, 2008 8:23 am

    I am sorry they didnt turn out as you expected. Glad you sucked it up and baked them for the team, knowing you dont like biscuits from the get-go. Great spirit. And they look perfect!

    Joy the Baker on 2 February 26th, 2008 8:24 am

    Hey! Those look great! And I was practically raised at Roscoes Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood. I love it there!

    Ellie on 3 February 26th, 2008 8:47 am

    Hahaha — I was all impressed at your flower-shaped biscuits until I read that you just didn’t have a round cookie cutter! I think that all food tastes better when it’s uniquely shaped, but maybe that’s just me.

    Also, I agree that adding nuts always ruins whatever you’re baking. I don’t hate nuts, but I hate them in baked goods because the texture always seems so off, and the flavor never quite goes with what I’m making. I usually substitute chocolate chips/chunks/shavings (did I mention I like chocolate?) or some dried fruit instead, and it works out really well.

    amanda on 4 February 26th, 2008 9:12 am

    I’m a first timer with biscuits as well, and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I think next time I would’ve added more salt or more sugar. It felt like it needed a kick of something. You flower shapes made me smile though. I had to use heart shapes!

    Marie on 5 February 26th, 2008 9:17 am

    I just love your flowers!! They’re so cute! I’m afraid I’m a nut freak. My whole family is, well, nuts about nuts! There used to be a mad dash for the nuts in the box of chocolates at Christmastime. My mother usually always got them. I guess rank does have it’s priviledges!

    Amanda on 6 February 26th, 2008 10:12 am

    They’re beautiful! I don’t think they browned too much.. I think that’s the perfect about of brown-ness for a biscuit. Great job and welcome to TWD!

    CB on 7 February 26th, 2008 10:27 am

    I love the flower shape! From one newb to another… welcome!

    Michelle on 8 February 26th, 2008 10:32 am

    Those look great! I love the design. I was too scared to do a fun shape because it was my first time making biscuits.

    Madam Chow on 9 February 26th, 2008 11:27 am

    Those biscuits turned out beautifully – you should be proud of yourself!

    Judy on 10 February 26th, 2008 2:28 pm

    Those biscuits are so cute. Love the scalloped shape. I hope you ended up enjoying them.

    Caitlin on 11 February 26th, 2008 6:44 pm

    Flower shaped = ADORABLE! I’m glad they turned out so well!

    Jaime on 12 February 26th, 2008 8:51 pm

    i LOVE your flower shaped biscuits! they are so cute! i agree that these browned more than i thought they would – so my second batch in the oven turned out better since i only baked them 12 minutes instead. i agree that nuts ruin stuff!

    congrats on your first biscuit 🙂 and welcome to TWD 🙂

    Beth G on 13 February 26th, 2008 9:43 pm

    They are BEAUTIFUL!! Congratulations on first biscuits and first Tuesdays With Dorie!! 🙂

    lynette on 14 February 27th, 2008 1:04 am

    the flowers are soooo cute!

    Erin on 15 February 27th, 2008 2:21 pm

    Your biscuits look great! I love the shape!

    pastry fork on 16 February 28th, 2008 6:05 pm

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    steph on 17 February 29th, 2008 2:40 am

    those held their shape so beautifully! i think they look perfect!

    Care on 18 March 1st, 2008 3:16 pm

    Hilary, I love the flower-shaped biscuits (who decided that they have to be round anyway? I say next time, dinosaur-shaped biscuits!). Growing up, my mom didn’t have a biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter, so she cut biscuits with the rim of a drinking glass; works like a charm!

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    Marni on 20 March 6th, 2008 1:16 pm

    i think it’s really neat that you’re participating in this!

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    Cakespy on 22 March 8th, 2008 5:15 pm

    These are so cute!! I loved looking through everyone’s biscuits, I must say yours are some of the most adorable I have come across!