I have, for a while now, been hoarding a growing collection of Short Stack Editions without making any of the recipes, a situation I finally remedied this past weekend by making some biscuits and compound butter for brunch from the edition devoted to sweet potatoes. The New York Times tells me that brunch is officially for jerks and that I should just make brunch at home, and of course I will do whatever The New York Times and, indirectly, Julian Casablancas tell me to do. Short Stack Editions are little recipe booklets that are ingredient-centric and full of all kinds of supremely helpful tips because each edition is authored by someone who is fairly obsessed with the featured ingredient. The covers are always imaginative and striking, and the pages dotted with whimsical drawings throughout. If you don’t think this illustration for sweet potato shepherd’s pie is funny, there is no hope for you.
The sweet-potato biscuits and the honey-paprika butter recipes are both very good, especially the compound butter, which would definitely be at home on a pile of mashed sweet potato or a baked sweet potato. I used a Japanese sweet potato for the biscuits because that’s just a personal preference; of course any sweet potato will do.
Sweet-Potato Drop Biscuits + Honey-Smoked Paprika Butter
For the Sweet-Potato Drop Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits
1 cup roasted Japanese sweet potato, smashed*
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra for dusting
* To roast a Japanese sweet potato, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub clean a large Japanese sweet potato, and prick all over with a fork or knife. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet for about 45 minutes (or until a paring knife slips easily into the center, like slicing into room-temperature butter), turning the Japanese sweet potato over once halfway through. Smash roasted potato with a fork, and let cool to room temperature before using.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the smashed roasted Japanese sweet potato, milk, and melted butter. Then add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and smoked paprika, and stir until combined.
Scoop 12 mounds of biscuit batter, each about two inches wide, onto the lined baking sheet. Bake biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy warm with Honey-Smoked Paprika Butter.
For the Honey-Smoked Paprika Butter
Makes 1/4 cup compound butter
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey, paprika, and salt. Mix well with a fork. Honey-Smoked Paprika Butter keeps in the fridge for 1 month in an airtight container.