Yesterday I totally cried over cake. True story.
But, before we get into weird cake sob stories, allow me to welcome you to BIRTHDAY WEEK! That’s right. Why celebrate your blog’s first birthday simply with a day, when you can use it as an excuse for an extended week long party?! You only turn one once, right? Right. All week long we’re going to be indulging with some party-worthy recipes. Maybe I’m using a bit more butter than usual. Maybe I’ve been eating ice cream sandwiches for breakfast. Let’s not look too closely at it. Just know, It’s going to be awesome. Let’s do it up proper, starting with these biscuits.
Are you confused as to why we’re starting things off with biscuits? Further more, why am I putting a candle in said biscuits? Yeah, me too.I’m going to try to make some sense out of this madness.
Let’s just say that yesterday was one of those days where I woke up and everything seemed wrong. It was drama. You know those days where it’s almost like you’re outside of your body looking in on how truly awful you are behaving, yet you just can’t stop? Perhaps you’re so tired that you simply can’t control your emotions? Yes. That was yesterday. By 10am I had already cried over the prospect of making a layer cake. Twice.
In my brain I needed to bake you guys a layer cake. It’s birthday week, after all. People expect layer cakes, right? You guys deserve a layer cake. The tallest gluten-free layer cake this side of the Mississippi. I wanted to give that to you. I love you all so much and I felt that you wouldn’t understand the scope of my love unless I expressed it through the art of layer cake. I wanted to give that to you so badly that I found myself curled up in the fetal position on a pile of unfolded clean laundry weeping uncontrollably into a dish towel. Overwhelmed by the prospect of layering cake on top of cake. Ugh. My husband at one point looked at me quizzically, chuckled a bit and simply said “I love you, but you’re crying over cake.” This is husband code for “I love you, but please put on some clothes, stop crying into that pile of clean laundry and eat something that isn’t an ice cream sandwich. Also, cake? You’re crying over CAKE!!”
I wish I could say that my day took a turn for the better immediately. I feel like this is the part in the story when I should lift myself up out of that laundry pile, put on a party dress, and bake the worlds best layer cake. That would be a good story, right? But that would be fiction. Instead,I continued to be a miserable, tired and dysfunctional human being. I was directed to the couch where I was instructed to take a nap like a toddler. I was grumpy about it, but I did it . When I woke up, all I could think about was this hunk of blue cheese sitting in my fridge. Normal. I surmised that this blue cheese needed to be baked into a shaggy and buttery dough. I had caught a biscuit bug. It was on. I arose from my couch nap, wiped the mid-afternoon drool from the side of my face and attempted to turn this day around with the aid of some super savory ingredients. Tomatoes. Herbs. Onions. Blue Cheese. Butter. Butter. Dough. Butter. I dunno about you, but to me, this sounds like a pretty good party. Maybe it’s not the party I initially planned, but it sounded 125% better than a crying into a pile of laundry party. We’ve always danced to the beat of our drum over here, anyway! Why not biscuits?! We can totally do what we want. Plus, biscuits are baking therapy. That’s real.
I started with caramelizing onions in a cast iron skillet. Cherry tomatoes were added and cooked down until they burst and stewed themselves in their own juices. Fresh sage and thyme were sprinkled over top and stirred together to create one heck of a savory aromatic party. Butter got cut into gluten-free flour. I used my fingers and really got in there. Yes, there is still biscuit dough stuck to the inside of my wedding ring (whoops). The dough gains moisture through the help of buttermilk and egg. Then it’s time to add in your cooled cherry tomato mixture and your blue cheese. Yes. Just yes.
Time to cut them up. Perhaps you are like me and you do not own a biscuit cutter. I used the mouth of a ramekin. I used a mason jar ring the last time we made biscuits. Get creative. Tap into your inner MacGyver. Or, break out your biscuit cutter. Jeez, you are so prepared.
Right before you put them in the oven you are going to want to brush the tops of your biscuits with a little bit of egg. Maybe you are like me and cannot find your pastry brush for the life of you. In that case, you can use your fingers. Or, maybe you’re kitchen is super organized. Jeez, you’re just showing off now. 😉
Fast forward 13 minutes. You’ve got yourself some straight up biscuit magic. Your house is going to smell incredible! BISCUIT PARTY!! Should we put a birthday candle in one? Totally. Seems just about right.
Fast forward an additional 13 minutes. You now have five biscuits missing from the baking sheet. Wow. That escalated quickly. My husband isn’t even usually a fan of blue cheese and he was super into these, complimenting the flavor combo. I used this gluten-free flour mix and I was SUPER impressed with the consistency of the final product. My biscuits came out wonderfully flaky! I’d say that’s a gluten-free baking triumph. Also, if you layer them on top of each other, stand about three feet back and squint they kind of (or, not at all) resemble a layer cake!! #Winning
Thanks for participating in this whole “I was told there’d be cake, but now there is a pile of biscuits” insanity. As usual, you all are the best. Now, let’s pump up the jams (stuff your mouth with aforementioned biscuits) and celebrate!
Adapted from Joy The Baker
- Olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 tbs fresh thyme
- 1 cup of blue cheese, crumbled
- 3 cups gluten-free flour (I used this one and it was AMAZING. If you aren't gluten-free you can totally just sub in regular flour as well)
- 2 tbs sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Additional beaten egg for egg-wash
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- In a cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed pan) heat up enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of your pan.
- Add your onions to the pan and allow them to begin to caramelize. Once they start to brown in color, add in your tomatoes. Cook your onion and tomato mixture until your tomatoes break down and begin to burst and shrivel. This will take several minutes. Stir frequently as to not burn your onions.
- Once your tomatoes have broken down and your onions have caramelized, add in your herbs and a pinch of salt. Give everything a final stir and then set aside to cool. If you are in a hurry, you can put this mixture in a bowl and place it in your freezer for ten minutes or so. Make sure your mix has completely cooled before adding it to your dough, as you don't want it to prematurely met the butter and make for a strange consistency in your baked biscuit.
- While you tomato mixture is cooling, mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir together to combine well.
- Using your hands or a pastry cutter, being to cut in your cold chunks of butter. Work the dough until it forms a course meal.
- In a separate bowl whisk together your buttermilk and an egg. Add your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir just enough to create a soft dough.
- Add in your blue cheese and your cooled tomato mixture and blend together.
- Once combined, turn out your dough onto a liberally floured surface. Kneed your dough approximately fifteen times. Roll out or pat your dough into a 1 inch thickness. Using a 2x2 inch biscuit cutter or the mouth of a ramekin, cut your biscuits out and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue to reshape dough and cut out biscuits until you have used all of your dough.
- Before you put your biscuits in the oven, brush the tops of them lightly with a beaten egg. This will create an egg wash and helps your biscuits to brown beautifully on top. Sprinkle with a bit of course sea salt and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
- These biscuits are best served warm straight from the oven, but will last for a couple days when wrapped and stored properly.