Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A virtual Memorial Day potluck with Celebrations - Patriotic Biscuits


My fondest memories of Memorial Day picnics bring me back to a time where running barefoot with friends through a neighbor's backyard was sure bliss. I often yearn for the simple times of youth when everything could be construed as fun, even if the activity was nothing more than eating a juicy piece of homegrown watermelon and spitting out the seeds. Mundane, maybe, to an adult, hilarious to a child. 

Even now, I'm sure I would look forward to and enjoy the event that was held each Memorial Day in our neighborhood. A dozen or so families would gather together in one very spacious back yard to spend an afternoon celebrating. We'd all be divided up into teams and throughout the day we'd partake in games and activities that would oftentimes have us rolling on the ground laughing. Seeing the adults, especially the men, engaged in the suitcase relay race was always a highlight. Each team would fill up their suitcase with the most outrageous clothes they could find in their closets, so when it came time to play, the racers would have to quickly dress and go running across the lawn in bright green plaid pants, daisy print bell bottoms, and the infamous double D bra. Seeing any one of the fathers running across the lawn in a bra was enough to have us laughing uncontrollably, but more often than not, these red faced men also had on high heels and a frilly scarf or hat. It was too funny. Oh, I wish I had a printable picture to share because the image in my mind is quite vivid and hilarious. 

We'd all gather together around lunch time and frolic and play until dark, so there had to be lots of food. The grill would be blazing for hours while the grill master handed out burgers and hot dogs. Each of the mother's would bring along several potluck dishes and line them up down the center of the picnic tables. Even a picky kid, like myself, could find something to eat; one of my favorite dishes was fried chicken served with biscuits. 

When I was invited by Jaclyn to be included in a Virtual Memorial Day Potluck hosted by Celebrations.com, I decided to have some fun decorating Patriotic Biscuits. I think they'll go nicely with all the amazing dishes being served up by the other guests. See the complete menu after my biscuit recipe below.

I know I've shared the biscuit decorating technique with my readers before, but this time, I'm making my biscuits from scratch using a simple recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated that utilizes heavy whipping cream instead of buttermilk and butter. It's my go to biscuit recipe because I always have cream on hand to make chocolate truffles, ganache, etc. They have a wonderful flavor and nice texture. You can use any biscuit recipe you like or use store bought dough, the resulting decorated biscuits should look similar.


Transform an ordinary pile of beige biscuits into an eye catching focal point for your picnic table by using foam stamps and food coloring.

Patriotic Biscuits to celebrate Memorial Day or 4th of July (makes 9)

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus more to dust work surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
red and blue liquid food coloring (the grocery store variety)

Supplies:

patriotic foam stamps*
bench scraper, pizza wheel, or knife
two paint brushes used for food only
baking sheet lined with parchment paper

*I purchased my patriotic foam stamp set this week from Hobby Lobby. I thought I'd be able to find a link for this product on their website for those of you who don't live near a Hobby Lobby store, but could not, so here are a few links to other places with fun patriotic foam stamps which will work also. Set of 6 stamps on Etsy or a  Set of 8 on Bonanza

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and put one of your oven racks in the upper-middle position.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour in the heavy cream and stir just until combined. Dust your work surface liberally with flour. Pour the dough out onto the work surface and knead for about 30 seconds until the dough is elastic and forms a ball easily. The kneading, although an unusual technique for biscuits, will help them to rise taller and fluffier, so don't skip it.


Flatten the dough into a square that is about 6" x 6" or so. Cut into 9 squares. If you prefer, you can use a biscuit cutter and cut them into circles, but the stamps worked well on the square biscuits.


Lightly brush food coloring onto your foam stamps. If you have puddles of food coloring on the stamp it will bleed once pressed onto the dough (see top picture.) So, be sure to brush off any excess coloring. Turn the foam stamp upside down and press the painted side onto the dough. Hold for a few seconds then carefully pull it straight up and away from the biscuit leaving a nice clean imprint.


The stamp set that I used allowed for two colors to be painted on most of the stamps. I used the larger biscuits to stamp USA and the smaller corner pieces were stamped with the star.


The star stamp doesn't allow for two colors, so I just used the red food coloring to paint inside the star directly onto the biscuit dough. 

If you have artistic talent, you could just use the food coloring to paint your own designs onto the dough. 


Place the biscuits on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the baking cycle. Serve warm or at room temperature. You can make and decorate your biscuits, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before baking if you want to bake just before serving. If taking to a potluck, allow biscuits to cool completely before arranging in a basket and wrapping in plastic wrap.

I've not doubled this recipe, and due to the kneading would suggest making one batch at a time, if you need more than 9 biscuits.

Be sure to stop by and see all the amazing recipes that are being featured in the Celebrations.com Virtual Memorial Day Potluck. 

Jaclyn, of Celebrations, Buffalo Dip
Erin, of Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts, Quinoa Salad with Veggies and Lime/Garlic Cilantro Dressing
Rowena, of Apron and Sneakers, Speck Skewers with Herb Mayonnaise and Grilled Mediterranean Aubergine Bundles with Provola
Elle, of Elle's New England Kitchen, Boneless Pork Ribs with Woodchuck Summer Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce
 Valerie, Une Gamine dans la Cuisines – White Chocolate Mint Cake
Tara, of Smells Like Home, Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream
Katrina, of In Katrina's Kitchen, Picnic Tablecloth Cookies



This sure looks like a potluck I'd love to attend. YUM!

If you like the recipe presented above, please share it with others by using the share buttons below. I really appreciate being Stumbled Upon and Pinned, and am always grateful to those of you that share my ideas on your website. I do request that you don't post my entire tutorial, but rather share a picture with a link. If you make this recipe, I'd love for you to send me a photo to beth@hungryhappenings.com so that I can share it in my Reader's Gallery. I link my recipes up to lots of websites that are listed hereThank you for visiting Hungry Happenings - Beth 


31 comments:

  1. These are great! They look so beautiful! Lovely working with you Beth!

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  2. Beth, I can't even tell you how much I love this idea! And it's so simple, too! You're right, it turns plain old biscuits into something wonderful--and they look like you slaved over them for hours. Also, I have to say your memories of past picnics sure brought a smile to my face--thanks!

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    1. Thanks Elle, I'm glad my story of picnic's past made you smile. I'd love to relive that time of my life!

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  3. These biscuits look awesome! What a fun idea, NEVER would have thought to do that!

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  4. these are awesome and creative! the possibilities are endless!

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  5. What a darling idea. Love it. But you always come up with the best ideas. I so enjoy watching all your fabulous ideas come to life. You are so creative.

    Nann

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  6. I always learn something every time I read your posts. Stamping with food coloring? Unbelievable! Would you be willing to link up this post to my Red, White, Blue & You Holiday Link Party going on now? I'd love to have you! Thanks, Michelle
    http://michellepaige.blogspot.com/2012/05/red-white-blue-you-holiday-link-party.html

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  7. These look so awesome! What a great idea!

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  8. love it, only one problem the "heart" stamp is backwards :(

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    1. Yeah, I know. I really liked the heart and it was driving me crazy that it was backwards, but I used it anyway. I'm not sure how the manufacturer didn't realize that. It slipped through the cracks!

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  9. These are simply adorable! What a fun idea!

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  10. I love those! They're so great. And so easy to make!

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  11. they are amazing! so cute and I never thought about that

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  12. Hi, Beth!

    We love this idea so much that we pinned it here: http://ow.ly/b6nYn
    Thanks for using our stamp set! :)

    Have a wonderful day,
    Hobby Lobby

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    Replies
    1. I was so happy to find such a nice set of patriotic foam stamps at Hobby Lobby. I also purchased the stencil and hope to come up with a recipe for 4th of July using it!

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  13. This is an amazing blog. Love those patriotic biscuits! I'm your newest follower from Polkadot Linky Party. I hope you can visit me sometime: Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Children.

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  14. These are delightful. And I loved reading about your memories! Thanks very much for linking up!

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  15. I love your blog! You always come up with the neatest ideas. I would LOVE for you to pop over and link this up in my Red White and Blue linky! It would be fun having you!

    Susie
    http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com/2012/05/link-up-anything-patriotic-25-amazon.html

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    Replies
    1. I just added some links. Thanks for inviting me to share on your blog.

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  16. These are so cute! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

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  17. These are beyond fun and creative!! I love it! - you could even dye the butter red/white/blue too! FUN!

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  18. How clever! I love your patriotic biscuits.

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  19. This is just absolutely adorable!

    I just wanted you to know - I featured this recipe in my Memorial Day Recipe Round Up here -> http://www.momsmenuplanning.com/2013/05/memorial-day-recipe-round-up.html

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    1. Thanks so much for featuring these biscuits on your blog! I appreciate it.

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  20. I really like these, I don't have the stamps but I guess I could paint on the biscuits instead, I'm going to try to make burger buns for Monday so maybe I can just draw a star. I'll see. Thanks for an awesome idea Beth.

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    Replies
    1. You can easily just use food coloring to paint on a some stars too. I'm sure your homemade burger buns will be a hit even without decoration. Have a nice Memorial Day.

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