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Truly Tender Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits (Both Sweet and Savory)

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A confession: Biscuits have never been my thing. It’s not a texture thing, because lord knows I love flaky, crumbly, buttery goodness as much as the next person. It’s not a lack of appreciation for how wonderfully versatile biscuits are, what with their capacity to work equally nicely in sweet and savory recipes. And it’s certainly not an aversion to comfort food, which I love.

I think it’s the fact that many biscuits—most biscuits—strike me as a little anemic. It’s the pale color, the fact that the flavor can be (isn’t always, but can be) somewhat nondescript. And perhaps that’s why these sweet potato biscuits, with their beautiful golden color and flavoring options that can sway both savory and sweet, appeal to me so much.

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Add herbs for a savory biscuit.
Add herbs for a savory biscuit. Photo by James Ransom

Like all biscuits, these ones are easy to make, so long as you respect a few tenets of biscuit preparation: Keep the butter cold, but chop it finely; don’t overwork the dough; bake your biscuits in a hot oven. Sweet potato purée offers just a touch of natural sweetness and gives the biscuits a pretty hue, but if you don’t have it, butternut squash or pumpkin purée will work in its place.

If you’d like to play up the sweetness of the biscuits (or use them in a dessert recipe like a cobbler), add some sugar. If you’d like to serve these with savory dishes (for brunch, say), try some of the suggested herb additions. And if you haven’t tried vegan biscuits before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the flakiness and texture. Earth Balance is my buttery spread of choice, but vegan shortening will work, too; coconut oil should also work, even if the finished flavor won’t be quite as authentically biscuity.

Or cut the herbs and add a little sugar for a dessert-friendly biscuit.
Or cut the herbs and add a little sugar for a dessert-friendly biscuit. Photo by James Ransom

When all was said and done, my favorite version of these biscuits—even after my prediction that surely I’d like the herbed or sweet biscuits best—was actually the plainest one (the savory recipe without the herbs). Go figure. A little sweet potato goes a long way.

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Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits

C04d249c ce6c 4b53 a221 55abd824bca0  gena hamshaw by james ransom Gena Hamshaw
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Makes 6 to 8 biscuits

Savory Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 6 tablespoons tablespoons unsweetened soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (homemade or store-bought; substitute pumpkin or butternut squash puree)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling and dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold vegan buttery spread (such as Earth Balance), plus an extra tablespoon melted buttery spread for brushing biscuit tops
  • 1 teaspoon (each) fresh and finely chopped thyme, rosemary, and chives (optional)

Sweet(er) Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling and dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold vegan buttery spread (such as Earth Balance), plus an extra tablespoon melted buttery spread for brushing biscuit tops

How do you put biscuits to work all summer? Tell us how you serve them in the comments.


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Tags: vegan baking, vegan biscuits, sweet potatoes