Yam Biscuits and the joys of natural light

March 29, 2009 at 11:14 pm 6 comments

“So, what’s for breakfast?”

That’s usually one of the first things my dad says to me on Saturday mornings. I gulp down a bowl of cereal in seconds on weekdays, which makes weekend breakfasts even more enjoyable. Even though my parents can definitely make a better savory breakfast – eggs Benedict, omelettes, and perfectly crispy hashbrowns – I have the sweeter things covered. Pancakes, waffles, muffins, and scones. Mmm.

Besides my general love for carbs at any moment, I like baking in the mornings for a few reasons. I like the absolute lack of hurry that covers the whole house like a warm sweater. I like bringing my parents a piping hot baked good and eating it right in bed. And one of the simplest things I like is the filtered natural light that streams in through the windows. When I usually bake, it’s after school (though not necessarily after homework!) Even in March it gets dark pretty quickly. And I’m the kind of person who would prefer no lights and an open window to bright artificial lights. Another great thing about natural light is the photography it produces. As an amateur photographer the sunshine is my best friend!

What kind of 75 watt light bulb can do that?

This morning I decided to try a sweet potato scone recipe that I saw on Nicole’s Baking Bites. The recipe is originally inspired by pumpkin, which I adore. We didn’t have pumpkin or sweet potato, but we had a whole box of yams. My mom likes to bake them and eat them straight from the oven. I especially like the caramelly sweetness of baked yams and figured it would translate nicely into scones. If pumpkin and sweet potato work, why not yam?

The recipe was a little different than many scone recipes I’m used to. There’s only a tablespoon of butter, room temperature, so there’s no need to cut the butter with the flour. Nicole suggested using a cookie cutter but I ended up making wedges. The dough is very sticky and in fact, I had trouble separating the wedges after scoring them. I had to bake the scones as a disc, cut and separate them halfway through, and then continue baking. This probably contributed to the not-quite-sconey texture these had.

The flavor of the scones was true to a freshly baked yam. The color was very pretty, and these scones got a really chewy, appealing crust reminiscent of bread. The scones were sweet enough to hold on their own without icing, but were also good with butter or jam. Straight out of the oven they were extremely cake like. After they cooled, the texture became drier and less spongey, but I still hesitate to use the word “scone” – thus “biscuits.” Scone or not, I personally liked these quite a lot.

Yam Biscuits
Adapted from Baking Bites
Makes 8 wedges

1 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup mashed baked yam (about two)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar, and salt, then egg and yam. Stir until smooth.

Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into yam mixture until flour is completely mixed in. Dough will be sticky, but it shouldn’t be wet – add a couple tablespoons more of flour if that’s the case.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times before shaping it into a circle about 3/4″ thick. Cut the circle into 8 equal triangle shaped wedges and separate. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tania  |  April 26, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    mmm, i made these today and they are delicious (:

    Reply
  • 2. pranadansa  |  April 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, I just got some yams last week and was wondering what to do with them.

    Reply
  • 3. Cousin Sharon  |  June 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I am just loving your writing. I make scones, and score them, but don’t actually separate them until after they bake. Then they do not have the finished edge look, but still taste yummy. These intrigue me, will have to try them. You know my mom shares your grandfathers passion for cooking. They both learned from the same person!

    Reply
  • 4. conniex721  |  December 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I just made these and they’re absolutely delicious! A keeper for sure! I bet you could add cinnamon, orange zest, or cranberries too. Thank you for this recipe. =]

    Reply
  • 5. Amy  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I’m a leader for a high school youth group, and I was looking for a healthy snack to bring for a group of girls I lead (I try to alternate a healthy with a not-so-healthy snack). I had linked to your site earlier from Nancy Leson’s blog, so I searched around and came across this recipe. They were so great! I told the first girl what they were made of, and then she made everyone else guess. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  • 6. what is green coffee  |  February 22, 2014 at 2:04 am

    This piece of writing will assist the internet visitors for setting
    up new blog or even a blog from start to end.

    Reply

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Elissa Bernstein



I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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