My friend B has a wonderful habit. If we are sitting around a plate of cheese and crackers, which we often are, B is likely to slice a piece of cheese, place it on a cracker, and hand it to you. The treat always arrives before you've realized that you wanted a piece of cheese on a cracker, and it makes you feel so special. B isn't a mind reader. She's just a sweet and lovely friend, and she knows something true: Most people would always like a snack, especially if someone else makes it for them.
While tasty on their own, these lightly sweetened, crunchy biscuits make a perfect vehicle for a piece of cheese or a schmear of peanut buter. —Samantha Seneviratne
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is excerpted with permission from The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life by Samantha Seneviratne. —The Editors
- Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Makes 2 dozen biscuits
plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
pecan halves (1/2 cup)
all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 teaspoons
(1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons
2 to 3 tablespoons
heavy cream, as needed for brushing
3 to 4 tablespoons
granulated sugar, as needed, for sprinkling
- In a food processor, combine the brown sugar and pecan halves and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the oats, barley flour, all-purpose flour, and salt, and pulse to incorporate.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal, with some slightly larger pieces of butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse just until the dough is evenly moistened. It should hold together when you squeeze it in your hands, but not be too wet. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of water as necessary.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and shape each into a rectangle Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, working with 1 piece of dough, roll out into a 12- x 6-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 12 equal rectangles. Transfer the rectangles to 1 of the prepared baking sheets. Brush with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining dough.
- Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.