Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter

Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser

I'll be the first one to admit that a stocked pantry with grab-and-go foods is essential. Whether you have to head out the door early for work, or you've got toddlers pulling on your legs asking for a "nack! nack!" (translation: snack), chowing down on a granola bar or muffin is sometimes the best you can do at the moment.

But I find when the noise settles and there are a few moments of calm, I need to stop and eat - and I mean actually stop. It's not always just for physical nourishment; sometimes, it's for my mind and soul. I need to sit down without staring at a screen and without a pen, scribbling down my grocery list. I need to enjoy the food in front of me and embrace the opportunity to slow down. Some days, this means warming up leftovers for lunch and attempting to eat without interruption. Other days, it's simply drinking a fresh cup of coffee while it's still hot, or indulging a really good chocolate bar at the end of the day. Most recently, it's meant an afternoon cup of tea with some sort of baked good - a scone, muffin, or in this case, biscuits. 

While the cold weather lingers (currently accompanied by clouds and rain), I've been craving comfort food, i.e. anything buttery and straight out of the oven. But I also find myself looking forward to the bright, fresh flavors of spring. This recipe - warm, lightly sweetened biscuits dotted with flecks of lemon zest and rosemary - is the best of both worlds. My favorite way to enjoy them is with copious amounts of lemon-honey butter (or sometimes an big spoonful of raspberry jam) and a steaming cup of herbal tea.

Make a batch and sneak away for a few minutes to truly savor. Savor the flavors of rosemary and lemon, the textures of creamy, sweet honey butter and crumbly, flaky biscuits. Most of all, let yourself savor a moment of stillness...because we all know it won't last forever. 

Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser
Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser
Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser
Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser
Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser
Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser
Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter | Sarah J. Hauser

Lemon + Rosemary Biscuits with Lemon-Honey Butter
Yields 10-12 biscuits

Biscuits
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the dough
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, diced
1 cup buttermilk, plus a little extra for the top of the biscuits

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking mat), and set aside.

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, soda, rosemary, and lemon zest to a food processor. Pulse until combined.

Add the diced butter to the food processor, and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse meal. There should still be pea-sized bits of butter throughout the flour mixture.

Add the buttermilk and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. You don’t want to overmix, otherwise, the biscuits will be dense. It’s OK to still see small bits of butter in the dough.

Spread a bit of flour on your work surface. Turn the dough out on the floured surface, and pat it into a rectangle, about ¾ inch thick. Fold the dough over and pat it down gently again. Fold it over one more time, and pat it down until it’s ¾ inch thick again. (Be careful not to overwork the dough beyond this.)

Use a 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits. Reroll the dough scraps as needed and continue to cut out more biscuits until all the dough is used.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space in between each one. Brush the tops with buttermilk or milk (this helps them brown).

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the tops and edges are slightly browned. Remove from the oven, and let them cool slightly. Serve warm with lemon-honey butter. (They also taste great with raspberry jam!)

Lemon-Honey Butter
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup honey
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix together all the ingredients until smooth. (I prefer to do this with a stand mixer or handheld mixer.) Transfer to a small bowl or dish, or spoon the butter onto plastic wrap, roll into a log shape, and wrap it up tightly. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use. 


This recipe was originally featured at Lark + Linen.


Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt

Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt

I love going out for a big dinner, but there’s something extra comforting and cozy about setting the table, lighting a few candles, and enjoying a meal in your own home. My husband and I try to have a "date-night-in" periodically. They can be a little easier to pull off when the budget or babysitting logistics add an extra challenge to going out. Or, let's be honest...sometimes I just want to eat dinner in my sweatpants (romantic, right?). 

There are challenges to staying in, though. For our annual Christmas date-night-in, my daughter decided it was a good night to stay awake in her crib crying, so she ended up joining us for dinner. Not quite what we had in mind, but fortunately that doesn't happen most of the time (and she was quite happy when she realized she won the bedtime battle, so it was kind of cute having her sitting with us.)

Sometimes we order out from a favorite restaurant, other days we cook a special meal outside our normal dinner rotation, or we combine a bit of both - like takeout for dinner and then a homemade dessert.

This recipe for Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt is the perfect addition to any date-night-in menu. It’s warm, sweet, and irresistibly decadent. Add toasted hazelnuts for a bit of crunch and finish the dish with a hint of smoked salt. It’s a combination of flavors worthy of any special occasion. 

Are you a fan of doing date nights in? Do you have any favorite date-night-in recipes? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt
Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt
Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt
Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt
Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt
Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt-8.jpg
Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt

Roasted Pears with Buttery Chocolate Sauce + Smoked Sea Salt
Yields 4 servings

Roasted Pears
2 pears (I recommend using Bosc or Anjou pears)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons turbinado or brown sugar
⅓ cup raw hazelnuts
Pinch of smoked sea salt*

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the pears in half and scoop out the seeds. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet. (Line the sheet with foil or parchment for easy clean up.)

 Brush the cut side of the pears with the melted butter, and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the buttered side of the pears (about ½ a teaspoon of sugar per pear half).

 Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pears are slightly browned.

 While the pears are roasting, make the chocolate sauce (see recipe below), and toast the hazelnuts. To toast the hazelnuts, add them to a small pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir or shake frequently for about 5-7 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from heat and let the nuts cool enough to handle. If you like, you can rub the skins off the hazelnuts with a dish towel (I personally don’t mind leaving a bit of the skins on). Roughly chop the nuts and set aside until the pears are ready.

When the pears have finished roasting, transfer them to individual plates and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Top with the chopped, toasted hazelnuts and a pinch of smoked sea salt. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!

 *You can substitute regular sea salt, but the flavor of smoked sea salt definitely takes this dessert up a notch.

Buttery Chocolate Sauce
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt

Add the chocolate, cream, butter, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat very gently over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the ingredients are fully mixed. Remove from heat and set aside until you’re ready to use.

Note: This sauce is meant to be served very warm. If you make it in advance and the sauce cools completely, the chocolate and butter will separate and harden. You’ll just need to rewarm it before serving.


This recipe was originally featured at Lark + Linen.


Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup

Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup | Sarah J. Hauser

I have all these romantic, fond memories of Christmases when I was a kid. We’d drive about an hour away to a tree farm to chop down the “tallest of allest” we could find, then spend half the afternoon struggling to get it inside the house. My dad would carefully string the lights, determined to fix any tiny broken bulbs and bring 10-year-old strands back to life. We’d unwrap cheesy handmade ornaments (which I can’t believe my mom agreed to save) as we listened to anything from Bing Crosby to Handel’s Messiah.

On Christmas Eve, I’d gently shake the boxes under the tree, trying to choose the one gift I was allowed to open that night. The next morning, I’d run to the family room and stand in awe of the overflowing stockings and sea of boxes waiting to be unwrapped, counting down the seconds until I was allowed to wake everyone else up. Eventually, with plates of scrambled eggs and Mom’s homemade Swedish Tea Ring in hand, we’d begin the rounds of gift opening.

Over the years, the magic of the season has waxed and waned. Some years, the snow falls at the perfect moment on Christmas Eve while I’m sitting in front of the fire drinking eggnog, and it’s like I’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting. Other years, it’s anything but magic. Christmas Day is spent unexpectedly in a hospital waiting room, or the grief of an absent loved one is tangibly felt. Sometimes, the monotony of everyday living takes over – kids still get cranky on holidays, the flu sweeps through the family, the house needs to get cleaned, and any attempts to savor the season seem futile.

Keep reading and get the recipe at Coffee + Crumbs!

Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup | Sarah J. Hauser
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup | Sarah J. Hauser
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup | Sarah J. Hauser
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup | Sarah J. Hauser
Orange + Spice Pancakes with Bourbon Buttered Syrup | Sarah J. Hauser

Full post and recipe instructions can be found at Coffee + Crumbs!


Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts [with buttered whiskey glaze]

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts

I wasn't a huge doughnut (or donut, if you prefer) fan until I got pregnant. Pregnancy will do that to you...especially a twin pregnancy. I had all these grand ideas of eating healthy and exercising throughout those nine months and, well, that happened for about a week. Especially towards the end, it was Netflix binging and doughnut eating. Oh, and bagels. And Chick-Fil-A. And whatever else. Don't worry, I did eat healthy things occasionally, too...but only occasionally (hence the postpartum Whole30 my body desperately needed a few months later!).

Anyway, back to doughnuts. After I had the kiddos, I bought myself a doughnut pan, stalked my favorite food bloggers' sites for recipes and eventually got around to baking up these bad boys. (Might I suggest checking out The Faux Martha and Joy The Baker for further doughnut inspiration?)

While my post-pregnancy sweet tooth did dissipate slightly and I'm learning to tame the sugar dragon, there are just some days when you need a doughnut. And if you're going to eat a doughnut, make it a good one - like this banana bread version sweetened with maple syrup, served warm from the oven and drizzled in a buttery whiskey glaze. Go big or go home, my friends. 

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts
Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts

Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts with Buttered Whiskey Glaze
Yields 6-8 doughnuts

½ cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup mashed bananas (about 2 small bananas)
¼ cup buttermilk
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon whiskey (I used Bulleit Bourbon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the bananas, buttermilk, maple syrup, butter, egg, whiskey and vanilla until fully combined and smooth.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until combined. Pour batter into a pastry bag (or you can use a zip top bag and snip the corner of it). Squeeze the batter into the prepared doughnut pan, filling each compartment about ¾ full. 

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. All to cool for a couple minutes and then remove from the pan. Drizzle with Buttered Whiskey Glaze. Doughnuts are best served warm. 


Buttered Whiskey Glaze

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon whiskey (I like to use bourbon)
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Scant pinch salt

Add all ingredients to small saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Remove from heat and drizzle over Baked Maple Whiskey Banana Bread Doughnuts.