When I was seven years old, my mother enrolled me in my first cooking class. I loved it, and learned how to make cinnamon rolls by dipping refrigerator biscuits in melted butter and rolling them in cinnamon-sugar and walnuts before baking. Delicious! My family gobbled them up and the compliments for my cooking made me beam. Those cinnamon biscuits became a Christmas breakfast tradition for many years. I’ve upgraded them here with homemade Southern biscuits sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and baked atop a sticky, gooey pecan syrup. Simple, sweet, and easy, they are a perfect grown-up version of my childhood specialty.–Jill O’Connor
Quick Sticky Biscuits
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H
- Makes about 12 big biscuits
- For the sticky pecan sauce
- Softened butter or nonstick cooking spray, for greasing pan
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
- For the biscuits
- 4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup very cold or frozen unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups cold buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- For the topping
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- Prepare the oven and pan
- 1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with softened butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make the sauce
- 2. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Melt over low heat. When the butter is melted, increase the heat to high and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped nuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Set aside.
- Make the biscuits
- 3. In a large bowl, sift together twice the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Blend until most of the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, with some of the bits of butter the size of small peas.
- 4. Make a shallow well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in 1 1/2 cups of the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to blend the buttermilk into the flour to create a soft dough. If the dough seems too dry as you are stirring it, add the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk.
- 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to make sure it comes together. Pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the dough into 12 square biscuits.
- Make the topping
- 6. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Brush the tops of the biscuits with some of the melted butter and sprinkle with some of the cinnamon-sugar. Place the biscuits, evenly spaced, cinnamon-sugar side down, into the pecan syrup-lined pan. Brush the tops (once the bottoms) of the biscuits with more melted butter and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon-sugar.
- 7. Bake the biscuits until golden brown and puffy, and the sticky pecan sauce is bubbling around them, 15 to 17 minutes.
- 8. Cool slightly, then place a large serving platter over the top of the pan and invert it. Remove the pan and allow the pecan sauce to fall around the biscuits. Use a small spatula to scrape any residual syrup from the pan onto the biscuits. Serve immediately.