Tag Archives: McCalls Cooking School

Biscuits -Buttermilk and Bakewell

Back in the long ago olden days – the ’80’s – I pretty much cooked my through the McCalls Cooking School binders.

Mcalls CS bindersIn 1986 I copied out the recipe for Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits , which on their flip side  went by the alias

“Southern Raised Biscuits”

1 cup buttermilk

4 cups AP flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 pkg active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 Tbl sugar

1/3 cup shortening (I now use butter)

2 Tbl butter, melted

  1. Heat the buttermilk in a small pan until bubbles form around the edges – it will curdle. Cool to lukewarm

  2. Grease 2 large cookie sheets

  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

  4. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl. Add he sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Stir this into the lukewarm buttermilk.

  5. Cut the shortening into he flour with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles course corn meal.

  6. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk mixture all at once. Stir in with a fork to mix well.

  7. Dough will be stiff. Turn out to floured board and knead until smooth – about 5 minutes.

  8. Using a rolling pin, roll our from the center to 1/2 thickness.  With floured cutter (or sharp knife) cut into 2″ biscuits (I like square ones).

  9. Place biscuits on prepared cookie sheet 1 inch apart.

  10. Prick the tops with a fork  1,2, 3 .

  11. Cover them with a towel and let them rise about 1/2 an hour., until their about 1 ” high

  12. Preheat the oven to 400°

  13. Before baking brush tops with melted butter

  14. Bake biscuits 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

  15. Serve warm, with butter and honey…..makes about 30 biscuits.

McCalls Cooking School Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits Breads4.

These are not the only biscuits….my favorite quick and easy biscuit is made with Bakewell Cream.

bakewell cream imageWhat is Bakewell Cream?

Bakewell Cream is a variety of baking powder developed by Bangor, Maine chemist Byron H. Smith in response to a shortage of cream of tartar in the U.S. during World War II. It is sold throughout the U.S., but is most popular in the state of Maine.

It sure does make a nice biscuit. But buying a can is now a commitment to biscuits – I’d hate to have throw any away. It’s available through King Arthur Flour, but I’ve also picked it up in the baking section of my local Stop & Shop.

Bakewell Cream Biscuits

4 c. flour
4 tsp. Bakewell Cream
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening ( I use butter)
1 1/2 c. milk
  1. Preheat oven to 475°.
  2. Light grease 2 cookie sheets (or use parchment)
  3. Mix together with a whisk the flour, Bakewell Cream, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Cut in with a pastry blender or 2 knives the shortening or butter until it resembles cornmeal
  5. Add in the milk to a well in the center all at once.and mix together with a fork. You really want to combine the ingredients, you don’t want to really mix and create lots of gluten strands. Light biscuits have undeveloped gluten! Mixing makes biscuits tough.
  6. Pat out to a floured board. With a rolling pin, start in the center and roll outward so that it’s 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Cut biscuits with floured cutter or a sharp knife – I like square biscuits, no re-rolling scraps.
  8. Put about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
  9. Put the biscuits in the hot oven and turn the timer on for 5 minutes.
  10. At the 5 minute mark turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in for another 5-10 minutes until golden and lovely.
  11. Serve hot with butter and honey.

ALSO – You can freeze the unbaked biscuits you might not be using right away….mix, shape and freeze. Bake them from the frozen state, 8 minutes instead of 5.

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Filed under Recipe, The 1980's

Advent is today

Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas Season.

Let the cookie baking begin!

First up is a cookie, so easy….it began with the McCalls Cooking School.McCalls Cooking schoolWe got this recipe in 1985, and immediately began tinkering with it.  Chocolate coconut macaroons are just TOO close to an Almond Joy to not keep going. almond joy barWe tried putting whole and halved almonds on top, but they baked off or got too hard.

Then we put the almond bits in.. and a little almond extract. Make them now, and then buy more sweetened flaked coconut and sweetened condensed milk and then you can make more later. Oh, Joy!

Oh, Joy! Chocolate Coconut Macaroons with Almonds

1 can (14 oz) sweetened, condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

3 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate

Dash of salt

2 cans (3 ½ oz size) or 1 package (7 oz) sweetened flaked coconut (do not use shredded coconut)

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 teaspoon almond extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cover a baking sheet pan with foil and grease generously OR cover a baking sheet with no stick foil OR line a baking sheet with a silpat
  3. Put condensed milk, chocolate and salt in the top of a double boiler.
  4. Put over boiling water until chocolate melts and the mixture is thick and smooth
  5. Remove from the from over the boiling water and add coconut, almonds and almond extract and mi well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls on the prepared sheet, 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are set.
  8. Remove from baking sheet with a metal spatula and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: about 2 dozen macaroons.

Adapted from McCall’s Cooking School. Cakes,Cookies #40. 1985.

choccoconut macaroon

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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Recipe, The 1980's