What’s cooking: Butternut biscuits

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland, I have a limited food budget. But I also love food–both eating and making it. During PST, I cooked without an oven, refrigeration, and a non-stick skillet. Now at my permanent site, I have all three, though at a cost. This occasional series will highlight my cooking and baking and the recipes I use.

I am in love with butternut–butternut squash that is. Yes mom, you heard me right. Maybe it helps that this multipurpose vegetable that really is a fruit is orange.

Either way, butternut has become a substitute for all recipes calling for pumpkin, yams, or sweet potato because they are not available here or not available in orange. And it may be spring here, but all the cold, rainy, and gloomy days make it feel like fall, which means it is time for pumpkin, well butternut, desserts!

These butternut biscuits were an instant hit the first time my friend Lori made them for me. Growing up in Maryland, Lori has lots of excellent recipes and loves to cook. And I love to eat her food.

This recipe calls for sweet potato, and the taste and texture turn out nearly the same with butternut.

This is a family recipe and is likely a couple hundred years old. I hope I did the ancestors justice!

Total time: 2 hours if starting with a whole butternut

Makes: 20 biscuits

What do you need:

  • Cookie sheet or cake pan
  • Stoven
  • Measuring cups
  • Large spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Pot if starting with a whole butternut
  • Knife

Butternut biscuit ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C Crisco/lard/softened butter/softened margarine
  • 1/2 C sugar (I always use a little less.)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • At least 2 cups of cooled and mashed sweet potato or butternut (1 small butternut is about 2 cups)
  • Water if you are starting with a whole butternut

Butternut biscuit recipe:

  1. Preheat stove to 200*.
  2. Peel and chop the butternut.
  3. Add butternut pieces and water to a pot. Cook until the butternut softens and can be mashed.
  4. While cooling, measure dry ingredients. Add flour, margarine, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together.
  5. Mix in butternut. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan or spread out batter like cookie dough and cut out circles of batter. Place rounds on cookie sheet or inside cake pan.
  7. Cook a cake pan for 25 to 35 minutes or rounds for 10 minutes. Adjust time as necessary for a larger or smaller cake pan.
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