Weather Updates



12 ounces Garnet sweet potatoes (about 1 large or 2 small), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt, divided

2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and divided, plus 6 tablespoons ice-cold, cut into small pieces

1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch cayenne pepper

⅓ cup buttermilk

Honey for serving


n medium saucepan, combine sweet potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Cover with lid partially and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are very tender when pierced with fork (about 10 minutes). Drain potatoes, return them to warm pan; stir over low heat 1 minute to evaporate any excess moisture.

Use potato masher, ricer or food mill to mash potatoes. Measure out ¾ cup potatoes for biscuits and reserve the rest for another use (or eat it on the spot as healthful snack). Add brown sugar to sweet potatoes while they are still hot, stirring to dissolve sugar. Then let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (about 30 minutes).

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Grease rimmed baking sheet with ½ tablespoon melted butter. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Scatter cold butter over top and, using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work butter into flour until butter pieces are no larger than peas. In medium bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk. Add sweet potato mixture to dry ingredients; stir just until well-blended.

Turn dough out onto lightly-floured work surface. If dough feels too sticky, knead in a little more flour. Using your fingertips, press dough into a circle about ½-inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut dough into rounds, cutting them as close together as possible.

Gather together the scraps, reshape the dough, and cut out more biscuits. Arrange biscuit rounds on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. (Alternatively, drop dough by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet for drop-style biscuits.)

Brush biscuits with remaining ½ tablespoon melted butter. Bake biscuits, rotating pan front to back mid-way through baking time, until golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Serve warm with honey.

From Roots by Diane Morgan

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.