As Easter approaches, the thought of hot cross buns flit through my mind. I've had weirdly bad luck making hot cross buns in the past, though. On the other hand, I've been completely loving cream biscuits lately. I'm ceaselessly in awe of how simple they are to throw together and how they have the perfect texture every time. Then it occurred to me that the biscuits could have different flavors added to them—thus hot cross biscuits, and I love them! —fiveandspice
about 10-12 biscuits
ground allspice or cloves
1 to 1 1/2 cups
heavy cream, possibly more for brushing
Heat your oven to 425° F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and raisins. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup of cream plus the lemon and orange zest.
Stir the dough together, adding more cream as necessary, just until it all holds together but isn't sticky. Gather the dough into a ball with your hands and press it out into a 1/2 inch-thick round. Cut the dough into 2-inch circles with a biscuit or cookie cutter, gathering the scraps and patting them back out to cut a second round of biscuits.
Put the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush the tops lightly with a little extra cream (if desired), and bake until they are lightly browned on the tops and edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
To make the icing, mix a little lemon juice into the confectioners' sugar bit by bit, just until you've made an icing that is thick enough that it will make a nice, slow drizzle from a spoon (I go by feel and never actually measure how much I exactly use, so I'm just guessing on the quantity listed in the ingredients). Drizzle the icing over the biscuits in a cross shape. Serve fresh!
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.