26 July 2011

almond-orange biscuits

Well it sure seems like food-with-strawberries-on-top is my theme for blog pictures at the moment. My husband and I have a deal that as long as strawberries are cheap, we are going to keep buying them and eating them, and there will be no complaining. I know that two months from now we'll be sad little puppies when we see the cost of them, and we'll be stuck with frozen strawberries to put in smoothies until next June. So yeah, no complaining!

These biscuits were a part of a series of new recipes that I tried that required as little cooking as possible. We had a really stupid heat wave here, and our tower fan in the kitchen can only do so much. Ambient temperature in the apartment never really dropped below 85 F during the day for a week or so. Gross! We made cold soba noodles (the only cook time is a 5-minute noodle boil), potato salad with white and green beans (15 minutes of boiling time total), smoothies (natch!), and another cold salad that I promise to post as soon as I've got the pictures uploaded properly. The biscuits are a quick bake, so it isn't too bad if you really, really want to bake something. Plus you can always leave the room while baking something, perhaps to go take an ice cold shower, right? All in all, perhaps it was good that I was forced to try out some new recipes, even if conditions were less than fun. It was, however, definitely good that my husband reminded me that daiquiris go down especially well when it is so danged hot outside too. :)

So I didn't take a picture of this, but for serving, I recommend a nice goat cheese (the one I had was a honey-goat cheese) with some balsamic vinegar as well. If I'd remembered to clip some leaves from our mint plant, I would have sliced those up and tossed them in too. Don't tell me that I have fancy pants, because I really don't.

Almond-Orange Biscuits
adapted from Pecan-Orange Biscuits in 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. ground almonds
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder (yes, really!)
1/2 t. salt
3 T. butter
3/4 c. orange juice (uhhh, I took the grated orange and blended it. That's OJ, right?)
1 T. orange rind
2-3 large strawberries, cut into thin slices perpendicular to the stem

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. PAM a cookie sheet covered in foil. (I can has Silpat?)
2. In a large bowl, stir together both flours, the pecans, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender (yes! I mostly use mine as a potato masher!) or two knives, cut the butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
4. Stir together the orange juice and the orange rind. Add to the flour mixture and stir until juice is absorbed.
5. Knead in the bowl 10-12 times until dough forms a ball. Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with 3-inch biscuit cutters and place on prepared baking sheet. (These are the official directions. I pushed the dough evenly into an 8x10 Pyrex and cut the biscuits into 2 1/2 inch squares instead.)
6. Place a strawberry slice on top and push into the biscuit a bit.
7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

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