I remember the combination of delight and wonder I felt when my baby sister’s nose turned an adorable shade of orange. My mother explained that her curious complexion was due to an overdose of sweet potatoes and carrots. From that point on I made it a point to never go too far with my love for orange vegetables. A discolored nose was cute on a baby, but not fashionable for a six-year-old.
I love sweet potatoes. I love them roasted with salt, butter, and sage, cut into fries, mashed with cinnamon, heck, I’ll even get into that whole marshmallow brown sugar territory.
I have utmost respect for this humble tuber. After all, it is without a doubt one of the most versatile vegetables you will find in the produce section. It can be savory or sweet. It will happily become soup, pies, waffles, or biscuits. The possibilities are limitless! Let us no more give into the erroneous notion that this superb tuber is only for overly sweet holiday casseroles. Sweet potato fans unite! Join the Beta CaroTEAM today! Heehee… I find myself very amusing at times.
Oh come on, let’s just make some biscuits.
Before we go any further I should mention that these biscuits are drop biscuits - meaning that there is no rolling or cutting involved. We just pull a quick batter together and use an ice cream scoop to portion out our biscuits. Drop biscuits are certainly different from the fluffy buttermilk biscuits your grandmother baked, but they still deserve to have their place in the culinary world.
For those of you who are intimidated by biscuit making, these are a good way to begin.
While the biscuits bake we whip up a batch of honey butter. I could put honey butter on everything. We are also going to fry up a bit of ham. I used a thickly sliced black forest ham - I like the contrast between the salty ham and the sweet butter.
When the biscuits have cooled slightly, spread on the butter - don’t be stingy, and layer with ham.
This is my weekend - well this, plus a mug of hot chocolate, flannel shirts, and good company. May your weekend be slow and meaningful, may you begin well.
Sweet Potato Ham Biscuits with Honey Butter
for the honey butter
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup honey
Combine honey and butter in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip until the ingredients are well combined and the butter is fluffy. Place in a small bowl and cover with plastic; refrigerate until ready to use.
for the biscuits
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 20 slices thickly sliced ham, such as black forest ham or Canadian bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork to punch several holes on each sweet potato and place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-60 minutes, or until fork tender. Allow the potatoes to cool fully before separating the flesh from the skin. Use a large spoon to remove all the flesh and then place in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse until smooth.*
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Toss the cubed butter into the flour mixture and use the tips of your fingers, or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour, breaking it up into pea-sized pieces.
In a separate bowl, combine milk, vinegar, and sweet potato puree; stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold the dry mixture into the wet. Mix until just combined, being careful to not over mix. The mixture should look homogenous, but not completely smooth.
Use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop to portion out the batter. Place the biscuits directly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fluffy and golden. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. While the biscuits are cooling, prepare the ham.
Place a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Fry ham, in batches, for about 1 minute on each side. The goal here is twofold: you want to develop the flavor a bit by browning each side as well as heating the meat through.
Slice each biscuit in half and butter each side with honey butter. Place several slices of ham in each biscuit and serve immediately. Enjoy!
*These steps may all be done in advance. The puree can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated until ready to use. If you are making these biscuits for breakfast I would recommend making the puree the night before to save a bit of time in the morning.