Can we call these ‘buffins’? I think we can coin that phrase, right here and now.
I was inspired to tinker with this recipe for buttermilk drop biscuits baked in a muffin tin after having something similar with my brother, Bill, over breakfast recently. I tried a couple of different recipes to start with, making my own adaptations along the way, before I got it right. These are so, so good!!! Seriously good.
The dough has extra baking powder for lift (be sure to use aluminum-free baking powder, like Bob’s Red Mill or Rumford brands, so you don’t end up with buffins that have a metallic sort of taste). It’s slightly softer, with more liquid per flour, than a basic biscuit recipe would produce. And because you bake these in a muffin tin, there’s no kneading or cutting. You could get a larger yield—8 or 10 biscuit muffins—if you make them smaller. But why?
Swishing melted butter over the top is optional, of course, but why not gild the lily? I wouldn’t stop you from sprinkling a bit of Maldon sea salt over those buttered tops, either. Whip up a batch tonight!
Buttermilk Biscuit Muffins (or 'Buffins') recipe
Makes 6 large or up to 10 small
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
3 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup buttermilk, plus a bit more if needed
1 tablespoon melted butter, for finishing
Sprinkle of Maldon sea salt, for finishing
Grease 6 (or up to 10) muffin cups. Preheat oven on the convection setting to 425° (your oven will automatically adjust the temperature to 400°) or to 400° on the regular setting.
In large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the cold butter into thin slices and toss with the flour mixture; use a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Cut the shortening into chunks and work it into the mixture in similar fashion. Pour the buttermilk over the mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the ingredients to combine; if you find extra loose flour at the bottom of the bowl, drizzle a bit more buttermilk down the side of the bowl, up to 1 tablespoon, to help it work into the dough. It will be soft and a bit lumpy. Scoop even mounds of dough into the prepared muffin pan, rounding the tops. (If you're making 6 biscuit muffins, the dough will mound high out of each cup.) Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the biscuit muffins are golden brown. Brush each with melted butter and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, if desired. Serve warm, with lots more butter.