Valentine’s Day is for lazy mornings. For PJ’s all day. Breakfast in bed with your favorite cup of tea. Sunny smiles.
And then there’s real life.
Husbands go to work. Your cat uses your favorite chair as a scratching post. And, over the course of 45 seconds, your child has the following conversation with you, in regards to said cat:
“I want to sit there”
“It’s my turn to play with that toy”
“He poked me with his paw”
The main difference between this and having two kids?
I can put one of them outside to play. Unsupervised.
Life as a mom might not be filled with roses on my bedspread and chocolates under my pillow, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And, if I really am honest with myself, I can conjure up a few sunny smiles on Valentine’s Day… especially if I make these Sunrise Biscuits.
This sweet potato biscuit from Malawi looks exactly like the cheery glow of a romantic sunrise. The vivid orange tuber, so popular and easy to grow in Malawi, adds a moist crumb and a slightly sweet kick, while the pinch of ginger gives a nearly undetectable bit of “yum” that will leave your loved ones wondering what is that?!
Given my tendency to happily eat nothing but sweet potatoes for dinner, and my husband’s tendency to inhale all things biscuit, I knew that this recipe was a must-make – the perfect fusion of both our tastes. What I didn’t know was how on earth this harmony already existed, halfway around the world, in the big cities of Malawi.
There’s nothing new in the world, it would seem.
P.S. You can make them any shape you want, but puffy hearts are grand. After all, love does make the world go round.
Recipe adapted from The World Cookbook for Students.
Makes 8 biscuits (using 3″ heart cutters)
4 Tbsp salted butter
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup baked, mashed sweet potato
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
First, find a beautiful spot in Malawi to make your biscuits. I’d like to build a kitchen overlooking Lake Malawi’s lapping waves – a place continually filled with the hollow wooden sound of the traditional mangolongondo.
Speaking of which, I have a Pinterest board called Views from My Kitchen Window for daydreams like this.
Now, preheat your oven to 375F and roast your sweet potatoes until soft (be sure to slit them with a knife so they don’t burst). This can take up to an hour. When they’re done, they’ll ooze glorious golden juices so be sure to line your baking pan. Reduce the heat to 350F, for the biscuits.
While the sweet potatoes are still very hot, add 3/4 cup to a bowl with the cubed butter. Let the heat of the sweet potatoes melt the butter into happy puddles.
Note: if you’re making this with cold, leftover sweet potatoes, simply melt the butter before combining the two ingredients.
And sprinkle on a pinch of ginger and a smattering of salt.
Next comes the snowfall: 1 1/3 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder.
Hum a little tune and mix well. The salmon colored dough will be very moist. That’s okay.
On a heavily floured board, with heavily floured hands, press the dough flat – about 1 inch thick.
Dip your cookie cutter into flour to keep the biscuit dough from sticking. Afterall, you don’t want to rip your heart apart. Lay the hearts 2″ apart, on a lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15-2o minutes, or until puffed and golden.
Okay…. bake until neon gold.
Just like the glimmer of the perfect sunrise.
Enjoy on a dreamy boat ride along the shimmering waters of Lake Malawi as you nibble these treats… preferably with a softened pat of butter. Or two.
Enjoy today, tomorrow, or on Valentine’s Day.
Wishing you love, love, love, so much love. Always.
- 4 Tbsp butter (salted)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3/4 cup sweet potatoes (mashed), baked
- 1 pinch grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Roast your sweet potatoes until soft (be sure to slit them with a knife so they don't burst). This can take up to an hour.
- Reduce the heat to 350F, for the biscuits.
- While the sweet potatoes are still very hot, add 3/4 cup to a bowl with the cubed butter. Let the heat of the sweet potatoes melt the butter puddles.
- Add the milk, ginger, salt, flour and baking powder and mix well.
- On a heavily floured board, with heavily floured hands, press the dough flat - about 1 inch thick.
- Dip your cookie cutter into flour to keep the biscuit dough from sticking.
- Lay biscuits 2" apart on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Note: if you're making this with cold, leftover sweet potatoes, simply melt the butter before combining the two ingredients.
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