The Prep-Ahead Thanksgiving

Award-winning baker and author Carrie Morey thinks the turkey should be the only thing you need to cook on Thanksgiving Day.  She gives Fox’s Lilian Huang Woo tips on make-ahead favorites which work.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Hot Little Suppers by Carrie Morey published by Harper Horizon 2021, $34.99 Hardcover.

Buttermilk Biscuits

I believe it’s important to remember where you came from. Without this buttermilk biscuit recipe, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s the original little biscuit recipe, the one-and-only, the one my mother, Callie, taught me. I built my whole business around thisrecipe, and I love being able to share it.

Makes 10 to 12 (2-inch) biscuits.2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, 1/2 cup reserved for dusting6 tablespoons butter (4 tablespoons cut into small cubes, at room temperature, and 2 tablespoons melted)1/4 cup cream cheese, cut into cubes, at room temperature3/4 to 1 cup whole buttermilk (may substitute low-fat buttermilk)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle position.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and the 4 tablespoons of cubed butter.

Incorporate the butter into the flour, working the dough between your thumb and middle and pointer fingers to “snap” the dough together until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. It will be chunky with some loose flour. Add the cream cheese and mix it into the flour with your fingers, leaving a few larger pieces.

  1. Make a well in the center of your flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk a little bit at a time, using your hands or a small rubber spatula to mix the flour into the buttermilk until the texture is “wetty,” tacky, and sticky. You may not need all of the buttermilk or you may even need to use a little more. You want the dough to be wet and messy but not sloppy.
  2. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the bowl, creating a separation between the dough and the bowl. Sprinkle a bit more flour in this crease.
  3. Generously flour a work surface or flexible baking mat. With force, dump the dough from the bowl onto the surface. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough into an oval shape 2 inches thick. (No kneading is necessary–the less you mess with the dough, the better.)
  4. Flour a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Start from the edge of the rolled-out dough and cut straight through the dough with the cutter, trying to maximize the number of biscuits cut from this first roll-out.
  5. Roll out the excess dough after the first biscuits are cut, and cut more biscuits. As long as the dough stays wet inside, you can use as much flour on the outside as you need to handle the dough.
  6. Place the biscuits on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the biscuit sides touching. (It doesn’t matter what size pan you use as long as it has a lip or sides and the biscuits are touching.)
  7. Brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  1. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until the biscuit tops are golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.


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