Drop Biscuits with Molasses Butter Recipe on Food52


Drop Biscuits with MolassesĀ Butter

June  8, 2013
1 Rating
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I hate throwing edible things away - and was beginning to get devastated by the idea of all the good whey I was discarding after making Jennifer Perillo's ricotta every few weeks (yes, I admit - I have a ricotta making and eating problem). I stumbled across an article that listed the many uses of whey, one of which being a substitute for buttermilk. I immediately applied it to one of my most made recipes - a version of my mother's incredible drop biscuits. The result was lighter and fluffier than normal - and I've been making them this way ever since! My mom puts dried fruit or (another favorite) dark chocolate chunks in hers - but I like them plain with good butter. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Erinmcdowell is a writer, editor, and food stylist -- and occasional Food52 test kitchen assistant!
WHAT: Fluffy, delicate, lightly-sweet biscuits -- and homemade molasses-y butter to slather all over them.
HOW: Make butter (you can do it!) by whipping cream and molasses, and skimming off the liquid. Mix together your biscuits, drop them on a baking sheet, and butter them as soon as they're out of the oven. Feel very happy.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Let's look past the fact, for a moment, that these were the best biscuits we've had in a long time. We love that erinmcdowell calls for making your own butter in such a nonchalant way -- because once you do it, you realize how easy it can be. And the fact that these biscuits are adaptable makes them easy to whip up whenever the mood strikes; if you have leftover whey from making ricotta, you should use it, but feel free to swap in buttermilk. —The Editors

  • Makes 1 dozen medium biscuits
  • Drop Biscuits
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup whey (from making ricotta or butter) OR buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • turbinado sugar, as needed to garnish
  • Molasses Butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Gallon generous pinch salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons molasses (Steen's is the best I've ever tasted)
In This Recipe
  1. Drop Biscuits
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Cut in the butter and mix until it ranges in size from peas to walnut halves in the dough. This can be done by pulsing in the food processor but I prefer to do it by hand.
  3. Whisk the whey/buttermilk, egg, and vanilla to combine. Add the mixture to the dough and mix just until it comes together - it should be pretty shaggy but evenly combined.
  4. Drop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake in a 375 degree oven until golden at the top and around the edges, 12-15 minutes.
  1. Molasses Butter
  2. Whip the cream in an electric mixer on medium high speed. You can follow Ashley Rodriguez' instructions for cultured butter. Whip until the buttermilk separates, then pour it off. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix for another minute or so, then pour off the liquid. Repeat 2-3 times or until the liquid is mostly clear when it is poured off.
  3. Season the butter with salt, and whip in the molasses. Mix until well combined. Slather on warm drop biscuits.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Horto
  • ImprovCuisine
  • Leemoe Jones
    Leemoe Jones
  • AntoniaJames
  • meganvt01
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.

    13 Reviews

    Cathy December 16, 2015
    I substituted the AP flour with 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup whole grain spelt flour. I also upped the liquid just a tablespoon or two and let it sit in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking to hydrate the whole grain flours. They turned out a bit more scone like than biscuit but they're fantastic!! Thanks for a wonderful and easy recipe!
    Horto June 8, 2015
    Any other uses for whey out there???
    ImprovCuisine November 30, 2014
    Great biscuits! Replaced the sugar with three tablespoons agave and the buttermilk with 6 tablespoons plain milk and one tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice. Turned out perfect.
    Leemoe J. September 9, 2014
    I made ricotta earlier today and was so stoked to be able to use the whey for something else! I made these biscuits with just a sprinkling of brown sugar and no vanilla, and added some aged white cheddar and cracked pepper. They go marvelously with the ricotta. Yummo.
    AntoniaJames August 21, 2014
    Made these last night - did not add all the sugar right away (added only about a teaspoon at the outset), as I wanted half of the batch to be savory, for use with this: https://food52.com/recipes/7331-chicken-and-mushrooms-on-toasts Best drop biscuit's I've ever had! Added about a tablespoon of brown sugar, plus a quick sprinkling of cinnamon and a tiny pinch of nutmeg, to the rest of the dough, and used it to top a blueberry cobbler that we'll be enjoying tonight. Used 256 grams of flour + ice cold ricotta whey. This one's a keeper, to be sure. ;o)
    Danielle June 19, 2014
    For those avoiding white grains, these are absolutely beautiful as whole-grain biscuits. Simply substitute half of the A.P. Flour for whole wheat flour, and (optionally) add a heaping handful of oats. I haven't tried substituting in parts margarine for some of the butter to lower the fat, but that's the next test on the list. Somehow, I have a feeling they'll still be pretty damn good.
    JP April 22, 2014
    Well, it's confusing because it says:
    2 cups heavy cream ( I understand that)
    gallons generous pinch salt ( I understand the salt but gallons of what?)
    The rest I understand. What am I missing?
    meganvt01 April 22, 2014
    The gallons is a typo. It's just a pinch of salt.
    meganvt01 April 20, 2014
    Fantastic! These were the hit of our Easter table today. Thanks!
    JP April 20, 2014
    How sis you make the molasses butter i.e., ingredient amounts.
    meganvt01 April 22, 2014
    The ingredients and instructions are listed in the second part of the recipe above "Molasses Butter."
    JP April 14, 2014
    Please clarify the molasses butter recipe.
    AntoniaJames September 30, 2013
    Great recipe! I always have a few quarts of whey in my freezer, because we make fresh ricotta here, too. I love what it does to my Pullman loaves. It also makes fantastic polenta, and dreamy mashed potatoes. ;o)