August 18, 2013 by Meg G.
I have a moderate obsession with Seven Stars, my local bakery and coffee shop. Our relationship started almost exactly 6 years ago, when I first moved to this neighborhood. The staff is friendly and quickly learned my name and my order. There were times when one of the baristas would see me in line and start making my drink before I even ordered it! But what really kept me coming back are the breads and pastries. My personal favorites include their Vermont cheddar bread (chunks of cheddar cheese baked inside every slice), chocolate almond croissant (it’s everything you think it is), and their ginger biscuit (ohhhh those ginger biscuits). I simply cannot resist their soft, crumbly, sugaryness. Just look at it. Do you blame me?
So, when I discovered this recipe in Cookbook Club’s first book (Local Flavors) it became obvious that I’d be making ginger biscuits for our first potluck. Peaches are in abundance at the farmer’s market, so I was pretty excited to have an excuse to pick some up and call them dessert.
Since this was for our first potluck/meeting, I decided to follow the recipe almost exactly. The only change I made was to use almond milk instead of buttermilk, because that’s what was in the fridge. (Remarkably, even though we hadn’t discussed this as a group, all of the cookbook clubbers followed Deborah’s recipes to the letter.) I have to say, I don’t think I’d change a thing! While nothing can compare to Seven Stars, I was more than pleased with these little biscuits. Here goes!
Ginger Biscuits + Peaches – via Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors
- about 6 cups of peaches (5-6 peaches)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar, separated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced into 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Prepare the peaches by peeling and slicing them into one inch wedges. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of sugar, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the biscuits.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is broken into pea-sized chunks. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix together in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your hands until pea-sized.) Stir in the candied ginger.
- Beat the egg and combine with the vanilla and milk. The texture should be shaggy and barely moist.
- Turn the dough onto a clean, floured surface. Gently knead the dough a few times, just to combine. Pat the dough into a 3/4 inch-thick circle and, using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out as many 3-inch circles as you can. (I wound up with 12 biscuits, even though Deborah claims this recipe makes 6!)
- Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden, about 12 minutes.
- To serve, halve the biscuits, spoon the peaches onto the bottom half, and cover with the top of the biscuit.
These were perfect for our potluck! I put them in the oven toward the end of dinner, (tantalizing my guests with their sweet smells) and served them warm. Deborah recommends topping them with some fresh whipped cream, but I substituted a bit of vanilla ice cream. What an awesome summer dessert: light and fluffy, sweet with a bit of spice from the ginger, and juicy farmer’s market peaches.
Deborah’s recipe says that this will make 6 biscuits, but I wound up with a dozen! We’re already planning to make them again soon and freezing some of them, like we do with our cheddar cilantro biscuits. They’d be a lovely addition to your morning routine.