Just when you think you’ve got it, when you think you’ve finally mastered the differences between scones, biscuits, fairy cakes, cupcakes, and muffins, along comes this recipe. Sorry, folks. If these weren’t one of our most popular items, one that many have asked us to share, we wouldn’t be putting you through this torture. These are tossed together like biscuits, but rather than putting you through the paces of biscuit making, this “shaggy mess” dough is chucked first into a muffin pan and then directly into the oven. Only butter is used versus a combination of butter and lard. As a result, these have a crunchy exterior and a tender but slightly dense, crumbly interior. They are fantastic as is, but you can also slather them with sweet, creamy butter and your favorite jam, and rest assured, you won’t care about any confusion they might have caused.–David Muniz and David Lesniak
LC No Going Back Note
Indulge in these shamelessly simple little hybrid hussies once and you just may find that there’s no going back to roll-out biscuits—at least not for weekday morning biscuit cravings, anyways. Oh, and the authors know exactly what they’re talking about when they counsel you to “slather them with sweet, creamy butter.” Boy, do they.
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 45 M
- Makes 6 jumbo or 12 standard biscuit muffins
- 3 3/4 cups (20 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 generous tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, diced, plus more for the muffin tin
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Butter a muffin tin containing 6 jumbo or 12 standard muffin cups.
- 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda on low speed until evenly distributed. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to mix on low just until the mixture is crumbly and there are pea-sized clumps scattered throughout. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and stir just until the dough looks evenly moistened. (It might seem counterintuitive, but the trick is to NOT stir until the dough comes together into a ball or you will end up with a tough muffin. What you want to see in the bowl are various-size lumps of butter and wet flour with some lingering bits of dry flour.)
- 3. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir up from the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any larger pockets of dry ingredients that remain into the batter. Using an ice-cream scoop, a large spoon, or even your hands, divide the dough evenly among the muffin cups. Since this dough remains loose and crumbly, you’ll need to press it into the scoop or in your fist and glom into the cups. If you’re concerned things still look dry and powdery, top each muffin with a little butter, which will, in a sense, baste the muffin while it bakes. And let’s face it, since when did more butter ever make anything worse?
- 4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for smaller muffin biscuits, 30 to 35 minutes for large muffin biscuits. More important than the actual timing is the visual appearance—the tops of the muffin biscuits should turn a darkish golden brown and look ruggedly lumpy and, if you touch the tops, they should feel firm. Cool the muffin biscuits in the tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes then tip them onto the rack to cool or, if you just can’t help yourselves, to consume immediately.