sweet-potato-and-marshmallow-biscuits Recipes

sweet potato (and marshmallow) biscuits

I admitted somewhere in the comments last week that I’d all but abandoned making my own pumpkin puree these days, baking instead with the always-reliable canned stuff. I think that as home cooks, it’s our tendency to want to do anything and everything that can be from scratch as such, but that I’d never been satisfied with the labor versus outcome balance of roasting pumpkin. To get a dreamy texture like one from canned pumpkin, I found I often had to roast, then puree, then sometimes cook briefly on the stove to thicken it up and often, still found the flavor inconsistent, sometimes delicious, often a little lackluster. I know, I just put you all to sleep. I promise, there is unapologetic goofiness ahead.

squisssssh
mixing wet and dry

What I didn’t get into was my current obsession — putting sweet potato where you’d expect pumpkin. With the arrival of this guy, roasted sweet potatoes are in a near-constant rotation and so it was only a matter of time before they showed up everywhere. Whether I buy sweet potatoes from a Stop & Shop by my parents house or the bottom of a dusty crate at a farmers market on 2nd Avenue, is a remarkably consistent creature of the underground. I roast them for 45 minutes (which makes my apartment smell like bubbling sweet potato caramel, i.e. heaven), let them cool, then peel and run them through a potato ricer and have perfectly textured and flavored purees every single time. This year I’ve been on a huge sweet potato baking kick: pies, pancakes, breads and now this, biscuits.

a great dough for raw dough fiends

two-inch round 'tater biscuits

I’ve kicked around making pumpkin or sweet potato biscuits for years, but never went for it because I imagined that they’d lack so many of the qualities I like in biscuits — firm tops, visible layers, an almost delicate crumb — that the squishy squash would make them overly cakey or soft. I have never been so happy to be wrong wrong wrong. What emerged from the oven last weekend was heady November perfection: separated layers, a plume of warm spices and an extremely moist biscuit that managed not to be heavy.

Of course, I couldn’t just stop there. That would be too… ordinary.

sneaky

No, I dreamed instead of making a biscuit variation on the marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole, something I lie through my teeth each year about, pretending it’s not my thing while reaching for another blistered scoop. (One day I will learn that Thanksgiving is no time to feign high fallutin’ tastes in comfort food.) Nevertheless, in my imagination, you’d break open a warm sweet potato biscuit on Thanksgiving morning and a sigh of gooey melted marshmallow would slink from the center, surprising and delighting like a Hostess cupcake. In practice, things didn’t go as I’d hoped. Big marshmallows were too big and two tiny ones buried in the center of a biscuit disappeared — seriously, disappeared! Where did they go? I think this guy knows.

this biscuit looks guilty
the disappearing marshmallow

… Greedy biscuit. Marshmallows inserted in little slits on top baked and fizzled kind of unattractively. The most luck I had was rolling the biscuit dough half as thick, scattering miniature marshmallows over it, and rolling the second half on top of it and cutting the biscuits from there. It’s not ideal for re-rolling scraps but the marshmallows held up moderately well. One day, I’ll get this right (maybe a halved large marshmallow somehow adhered to the top of the biscuit?) but Thanksgiving will not wait for that day to arrive.

then, this happened
squisssssh

Nevertheless, whether you go highbrow, lowbrow or completely off your rocker (ahem) with these biscuits, they’re just perfect and they promise to behave if you let them sit at the table. Well, maybe.

a great, gooey yawn

New Yorkers: I’ll be on WNYC today at 5:44 p.m. (uh, you know, very soon) briefly discussing a Thanksgiving game plan for sides and sweets. I talk about starting early, getting done anything and everything you can before the big day, when the turkey and its trimmings will dominate your oven and ability to cook other things in the afternoon. High on my list of favorite do-ahead foods are biscuits, such as these. You can make them today, cut and freeze them unbaked and pop them in the oven, still frozen, 15 minutes before everyone sits down, all the more gleeful at the prospect of freshly baked biscuits, with or without a fiesty toasted marshmallow middle.

One year ago: Apple Latkes
Two years ago: Cappucino Fudge Cheesecake
Three years ago: Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones
Four years ago: Chile-Garlic Egg Noodles
Five years ago: Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms, Jacked-Up Banana Bread and Orangettes

Sweet Potato (and Marshmallow) Biscuits

Makes 12 to 14 2-inch biscuits

1 pound sweet potatoes (red skinned are my favorite)
1/3 cup (79 ml) buttermilk
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3 tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground (2 grams) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) table salt
5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, cold
1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)

The day before or a couple hours in advance: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place sweet potato on a tray and roast until soft, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in skin (the fridge can speed this up) then peel. Either run potato flesh through a potato ricer or mash it until very smooth. You’re looking for 3/4 cup (191 grams) sweet potato puree (I get closer to 1 1/3 cups from 1 pound. Melt some salted butter over any remainder and sprinkle with chives — happy lunch!)

You’ll probably have turned your oven off by now, so preheat it again to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk 3/4 cup reserved sweet potato puree with buttermilk until smoothly combined. Keep nearby.

In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt together. If you have a pastry blender, add the butter (if you have a sturdy pastry blender, no need to chop it first) and use the blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. If you don’t have a pastry blender, cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

For both methods, continue by adding the sweet potato mixture and stir and break it up until the mixture is in big, soft chunks. Get your hands in the bowl and gently knead the dough into an even mass, using as few motions as possible (and thus, warming the dough as little as possible.).

With marshmallows: Roll or pat dough out on a floured counter to a 1/2-inch thickness and divide evenly in half. Sprinkle marshmallows loosely over half of dough. Place the second half on top of marshmallow and use rolling pin to gently press the sides together, keeping the final dough thickness at a full inch.

Without marshmallows: Roll or pat dough out on a floured counter to a 1-inch thickness.

Both methods: Dip a 2-inch biscuit cutter in flour then form biscuits by cutting straight down and not twisting — this will help give your biscuits the maximum rise. Bake biscuits on prepared sheet for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden on top. Cool on rack and enjoy as soon as possible.

Do ahead: Biscuits are best on the first day that they’re baked. To make them ahead of time, arrange cut biscuits on a tray to freeze them. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag until needed. Bake at same temperature straight from freezer; biscuits will take about 2 minutes longer to bake.

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291 comments on sweet potato (and marshmallow) biscuits

  1. I love this. I always make sweet potato biscuits at Thanksgiving (and again at Christmas to fill with country ham and apple butter) , but have never thought to add the marshmallow. What a great idea!

  2. These totally make me think of Calvin and Hobbes and Calvin’s snowmen every winter! I was thinking maybe fluff would work, but am guessing it would be too soft to start with. If I get a chance to try these soon, I will have to see how to keep more of the marshmallow yummy inside.

  3. (first comment on SK; I read the Guidelines; hope I am doing this right) I love the faces so much I want to make them and add raisins so they will actually have “eyes”… Are they a side dish or dessert?… I think I want them for breakfast

  4. I think we started eating sweet potatoes more often for the same reason as yours. I now roast them all year around.
    Could you bake the biscuits first and cap them with a big marshmallow and broil them? or even torch them? I’m drooling…can’t wait to try it.

  5. I looove the last photo with the goop coming out of the biscuit’s mouth.

    I have never been one for the traditional sweet potato and marshmallow dish BUT would gladly try these, especially as my bf is a wonderful biscuit maker!

    Thank you!!

  6. I love this. The recipe and the pictures both. I’m in the dorm for Thanksgiving… I’m sure my floor would love some biscuits, even if I can’t find marshmallows for them. How many sweet potatoes did you use? I need to know how many to snatch from the dining hall–I mean buy.

  7. mmm…happy lunch, indeed.

    I’ve been known to smile at a table full of biscuits, but to actually laugh at a screen of them is new for me. I’m wondering if I can use my food mill instead of the ricer. I mean, I have a ricer, too, but I love thinking of reasons to get out the food mill.

    Good luck on the radio. I’m over in Boston, so I’ll have to find the podcast of it later.

  8. Deb, I’m loving listening to you on WNYC! I looove super tart cranberry sauce too… I’ve used it in place of jelly in a PB&J (PB&CS?) and in crepes in the days following Thanksgiving. You have such a great voice for radio too. Have you ever thought of doing podcasts?

    1. Mae — Thanks! I have a face for radio too. :) I don’t think I’m coordinated enough to do podcasts. Maybe if I ever hire an assistant? Just the site/book/family keep me more than 100% busy.

  9. Deb- I wonder if using marshmallow fluff would work? Maybe a layer in middle? I don’t really go for the heaping scoop of sweet potatoe puree that is the stuff of casseroles, but these muffins sound excellent!

  10. I love biscuits, and love to make different ones every tday..sweet potato & jalapeno, herb & cheese, cheese & bacon…but never sweet potato & marshmallows! My kids will love them, especially since I don’t make marshmallow topped casseroles (I’m a mashed sweet potato with chipotles & lime kinda gal).

    Maybe if you froze the marshmallows to stuff them? Would not work as a make ahead, but it might if you used a large full or half marshmallow to stuff???

  11. I love sweet potato “souffle” (really just mashed sweet potatoes with tons of butter, cinnamon and nutmeg) with marshmallows on top is my ALL TIME favorite holiday dish. I will definitely have to give these a try…they look DELICIOUS (and adorable with their funny little expressions)!

  12. i love how your recipes are all so fall related. now i just want to fall in love with you! have a super thanksgiving, and please post pictures and recipes of your meal! xoxo

  13. Yum! I, too, discovered a love for sweet potatoes when my little one started eating and they are now a regular fixture in our house. and super cute kid pic! :)

  14. Eek! I just realized that I don’t think I can get buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar… How necessary is it that I use buttermilk rather than normal milk? (Or is there another acid that will work to fake it?)

  15. Food with a face never fails to set me off on a round of giggling!! So happy to see these mischievous biscuits romp around on my screen :) Lucky for me Japan has a soft spot for cute food as well :)

  16. Deb- I’m a southern, and therefore am highly skeptical of anything other than a buttermilk cathead biscuit (made with lard). This however may change my mind. I wonder if it would work with marshmallow fluff.

  17. OK, I think someone is jsut a little giddy happy that a certain manuscript if off her desk… So hilarious to see this post, Deb. Kisses to all and thank you for the delicious bounty of love, good eats, and beautiful photos.

  18. How about some “Micro” Marshmallows mixed or kneaded into the dough? Sweet potato casserole is SO not my thing, but I love your take on it!

  19. Maybe I a bit delirious today but your post just had me laughing very loud to myself. Not only is that combination hilarious and very creative, but I can just see you “imagining” the little black eyes on the biscuits in your kitchen. Too funny.

  20. i was reading this post while eating dinner alone–spinach tofu taco salad, for those interested–and i laughed out when i saw the last post. i LOVE the SILLINESS! and i may even try the biscuit at some point in time, but not in the next 2 days. menu’s set.

  21. Too cute. Biscuits anyway you make them are great. Wouldn’t freezing the marshmallows help it not melt so fast when baking? But the thought of it just oozing, yum. Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. These look amazing! Much more decadent than my current favorite sweet potato baked good, oatmeal sweet potato muffins – delicious, yes, but not biscuit-delicious.

  23. Hahah! I love this creative Deb coming out… but really–these look fantastic. And I heartily agree with this sweet potato dominance ever since Jacob’s been around! :)

  24. Being from New Zealand, we eat a lot of (indigenous) sweet potato (we call it kumara), but as a savoury thing, with a roast (beef/lamb/chicken/turkey), and roasted potatoes, pumpkin and beetroot, with lashings of gravy. I have never thought of using it as a sweet ingredient! What exactly are biscuits? Similar to scones? Here in NZ, we call cookies ‘biscuits’! Crazy english language!

  25. you are on the right track swapping sweet potato for pumpkin — sweet potato cheesecake will blow your mind. it sounds strange, but trust me. you’ll never go back

  26. These remind me of the amazing sweet potato biscuits that I recently had the pleasure of tasting when I was visiting my brother in Atlanta. They were from the Highland Bakery and they were incredible. They were soft and sweet with the sweet potato taste shining through.

  27. Secret to good fresh pumpkin puree–don’t use a sugar pumpkin. Get a long island cheese squash if you can find one. They make the best puree ever (okay, out of 5 different varieties I’ve tried growing or buying). Also, you can roast and puree one or more giant squash at once and then freeze portioned out flat in baggies in the perfect amounts for your favorite recipes. LI cheese squash weigh 10-15lbs each, so each one makes several cups of puree.

    Also, these biscuits look amazing and depress me that I’m allergic to wheat.

  28. As a huge pumpkin lover, I had to admit that I don’t find the flavor or roasted pie pumpkins all that alluring. And then I finally read somewhere that canned pumpkin is not what we think of as pumpkin, but one of the other winter squash varieties that’s more like a butternut. Now when I do homemade “pumpkin” puree, I like to grab a variety of squash – butternut, buttercup, sometimes delicata too – and roast and blend them all together. The flavor is incredible! Sweeter from the caramelization, and silkier than canned stuff.

    By the way, I’ve always wondered why so many people claim to dislike the inevitable sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. For real, what’s not to like? Why are people so caught up in lying about that?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes OR marshmallows, yet i have both in my pantry at present AND this looks like FUN! I will be whipping this recipe up post haste…

    Thank you!

  30. I’m simply tired of the same old photography here. Depth of field and emo over sharpening do not a photograph make… Love the recipes though.

  31. I totally agree on the issue of canned pumpkin! I did it for so many years just because I could. But it’s not as good!

    A vendor at our local farmer’s market has warm sweet potato biscuits with pumpkin butter. SO good and I haven’t had any this year due to Saturday morning soccer!

  32. I heard you on NPR earlier today! I came in during the middle of the interview (when you were talking about your favorite side dishes; I totally agree — the sides are what make a holiday meal for me), and actually thought to myself: “She sounds so fun and bubbly!”
    I’m bringing a sweet potato casserole to dinner; hopefully I don’t make a sweet dish even sweeter! :)

  33. Question about the potato ricer: How does the texture vary from mashing it? I ask because I am debating buying one and I just want to know if it’s really worth it. If I’m being honest, I mainly think it looks like a super cool kitchen gadget! But would you say the result does make it more even or smooth? Thanks!

  34. JCC – was thinking the same – they look deliciously like pumpkin scones (mmmmm!) to me (Australian). The addition of marshmallows can only be a good thing. (I’ve also been educated regarding what the americans call ‘pudding’ via this blog – love the global village!)

  35. I love sweet potatoes! I’ve been looking for a good sweet potato biscuit recipe, but I must confess that I’m not a fan of marshmallows. So I’ll be trying this without them.

    On the fresh pumpkin front, have you ever roasted a fairytale pumpkin? I have had mixed results with pie pumpkins, but fairytale pumpkin puree is out of this world! It tastes better than anything you can get canned. I guess it’s a French heirloom variety that is used as a decorative pumpkin here. Even if you only make soup with it, it’s worth buying one. You do need freezer space though. I got 30 cups of puree out of one pumpkin.

  36. Yum. Sweet potato (subbed for pumpkin) oats a la The Kitchn? So dreamy. You know, because I am apparently now the type of person who describes oats as “dreamy.” WHO AM I?

    A little gem of an article/recipe was posted on Serious Eats today–Sweet Potato Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting. The casserole that inspired it’s creation was not something we ever ate growing up, but this cake? I am somehow dreaming of this cake, despite never once having a spoonful of mushed yams and burnished mallow. Clearly, it is my American duty to rectify this come Thursday.

    1. meleyna — I saw that yesterday and stopped dead in my tracks. I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVEN’T MADE IT BEFORE. I can pretty much guarantee you I will have a format of it on this site next year. I wasn’t sure about the recipe itself — I’d have made the cake and the frosting a little differently. But the idea, oh, it’s just sheer brilliance.

      yams vs. sweet potatoes — This comes up all of the time. For whatever reason, Americans call some orange-fleshed sweet potatoes yams. But they’re not true yams. Yams are a botanically distinct type of root vegetable grown in Africa and Asia; they don’t taste the same. From Wikipedia: “To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as “yams” to be labeled also as “sweet potatoes”.” I hope this clears it up once and for all, but I suspect it won’t. :)

      Zachary — Actually, I don’t think it’s a structural problem. It’s a size thing — tiny marshmallows are meant for hot chocolate, not holding up in baked goods. But big ones were too big for a 2-inch biscuit and I didn’t want to make mega-biscuits just to accommodate them. I’ll get back to the drawing board on these and post an update next year.

      kale — The ricer makes a smoother puree. If you have a food mill, don’t bother buying a ricer because it does the same thing. If you don’t make a lot of mashed potatoes or bake often with potato purees, you can probably live without it too. I definitely file it under the Limited Use category of kitchen gadgets. That said, the few times a year I make potato (or parnsip or another root vegetable) purees, I absolutely love it because it’s super-quick. But it does take up a surprising amount of space.

  37. They look stunning. I am from England and I am only just starting to get my head around using pumpkin and sweet potato in sweet dishes but I am going to have to try these. Thanks!!

  38. I have had the same disappearing marshmallow thing when I try to put them inside Martha’s Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies. Adding them to sweet potato biscuits? Brilliant. Love the biscuit monsters :)

  39. Love your blog! Love everything about it. Gives me hope when I think about cooking in my TINY kitchen in Bombay, India. :) Hope you scale all the heights you’ve ever dreamed of scaling. :)

  40. I started cooking sweet potatoes for the very same reason and I’ve been putting them in everything- e.g., this morning it was pancakes. Two year olds force you to do crazy things!

  41. I missed you on WNYC yesterday! Is there somewhere one can listen to your interview? I’m only finding the article/post about your thanksgiving sides on the WNYC culture page. I’ve loved your appearances on Lopate in the past!

  42. Love this idea.

    I just did my first canned pumpkin pie and I was disappointed… roasted butternut is way better and I’ve never had an issue with the consistency (?).

  43. I love the funny images! I’ll be sure to try your marshmallow method, and perhaps the halved large marshmallows, too. Thanks for a great recipe, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

  44. I tried making my own pumpkin puree this year. I haven’t used it yet but what I did see is that you have to drain it for 24 hours via a cheesecloth to get it to the right consistency. Can’t say how it tastes yet but the texture/thickness looked right. As for the sweet potatoes, reminds me of Nany Silverton’s recipe for pumpkin pie–she said she hates pumpkin pie but you gotta sell it if you are a bakery, no getting round it–and she made it to her standards by adding a bit of sweet potato. So there you go!

  45. I made your pumpkin waffles (11/11/07) with a sweet potato puree sub-in, and they were dreamy. Some cinnamon-maple syrup whip cream globbed on top helped things along as well…

  46. That was hilarious! Thanks for the smile for me with the marshmallow fellows. Husband is still smiling from gingersnaps! “Not me…(guilty look)” seems oddly familiar around here where your recipes are concerned…

  47. Oh, THANK YOU for posting this recipe! I’m cooking tomorrow and was feeling a bit bored with my menu – this is EXACTLY the perk-up it needed! :) I even have all the ingredients already in the pantry, so there’s no need to run to the store! I really didn’t feel like making one of my dishes, but everything else on it’s own wasn’t quite enough. Now I can skip that one and just make delicious biscuits! Thanks so much!

  48. the faces remind me of calvin & hobbes — adorably grotesque!
    martha stewart has a s’more cookie recipe in which half-a-big-marshmallow is popped on top and broiled at the end…maybe *in addition* to the mallow layer inside???

  49. Oh my goodness- those adorable little biscuit expressions match my mood- They are hilarious and happy! I have never been one for sweet potatoes myself but having an anti-vegetable eating three year old this is definitely something I am going to look into. She loves all “bread” so this would be the perfect recipe! Thank you for sharing!!

  50. I have two baked sweet potatoes sitting in my fridge who will soon be these. Thank you for the morning laugh. The little faces above cracked me up. And the one commenter who suggested bacon? Genius. One question, would it make much of a difference to sub in regular milk or cream for the buttermilk?

  51. Oh wow, I love that last picture! Who knew biscuits were temperamental toddlers? It looks like the guy on the left is burping and the one on the right is asking if you like “seefood” :D

  52. I have to say I’m probably the only fan here who’s not a fan of sweet potatoes, but I know my two year old will absolutely devour these. I think I might even find a way to include eyes because seriously that was the best part for me. So cute!!!

  53. What a fabulous post! You must have such fun in the kitchen :)
    Great rise on the biscuits, what brand of baking powder do you use?
    Would love to try these for christmas as Canadian Thanksgiving has already past for us.
    Cheers

  54. Happy Thanksgiving! My sweet potatoes are casseroled, waiting for their marshmallows. Dozens of dinner rolls are snoozing on the freezer. I think these guys will be making their debut in a month or so, once the winter doldrums set in. Thanks for giving us these wonderful recipes, stories, and photos (especially of Jacob).

  55. Most excellent. Sweet potato cake won’t be making an appearance on my dessert table this year, mostly just cause I don’t have time to test brand new recipes. Instead, three out of four of my pie contributions will be courtesy of the Smitten Kitchen. Looking forward to your version of yam cake next year. :)

  56. Okay just made these to take to a Thanksgiving pot luck tomorrow.Used canned yams and halved the big marshmallows for the middles. Result: they looked a bit like flying saucers, BUT I got a creamy marshmallow cream center in a nice little air pocket in the middle. Not as flaky as yours but the marshmallow creme makes up for it I think. Thank you for sharing this! love it:)

  57. Can I just say that it is so nice to have you back!! I am sure the book will be worth it, and then some, but it is just so nice to have you posting more frequently!!

  58. I’m thinking that the solution to the marshmallow conundrum may lie in the application of (gasp!) marshmallow fluff. Easy enough to spread, and you could adjust the thickness to your liking.

  59. I just tried making sweet potatoes in the crock pot for the first time. Wrapped them in foil and put them on low when I went to bed. They turned out great, nice and soft.

  60. muhhahahahahaha! the biscuit that ate thanksgiving! ;)
    Thank you!
    I am making these today! The only tweak will be gluten free. This kids (me included) will LOVE this.
    Biscuit lover in Seattle

  61. love this idea. a comment on the texture of squash – i completely agree that it seems so variable! i roasted a buttercup squash for the first time last week though, and i could not believe how smooth and creamy it is. i have been swapping it for canned pumpkin left and right, and i can’t believe how well the texture works without having been pureed. i know it’s not pumpkin, but just a thought if you ever decide to try out the squash variety again :)

  62. Hilarious. Love these little biscuit monsters! You make them look almost too cute to eat…almost. I think it’s too late for Thanksgiving as I’ve already got my menu plan, but I am definitely, definitely making these soon. Maybe topped with a drizzle of maple syrup? Yes, I think so.

  63. My boyfriend is not a fan of sweet potatoes, but I got him to eat (and enjoy!) your sweet potatoes with pecans and goat cheese from last year, so I may just have to make this recipe to try to win him over to the sweet potato camp :-)

  64. …hee,hee,hee “Wasn’t me.” biscuit – you are too funny! *giggle* ;o)

    …I would LOVE a good pumpkin puree recipe. I read from ‘Cara’s comment above that she combines several types of squashes for her pumpkin pie and I had never heard of that before.

    …I love this whole sweet potato & marshmallow biscuit concept! I wonder if it would work if you incorporated refrigerated/even frozen possibly(?) mini marshmallows into the dough before rolling? You kno’, where they each would hold their shape and take longer to melt, no? I dunno Deb. Either way, I love these! :o)

    …Thanks for sharing and thank you for the laugh today!

    …Wishing you & yours nothing but the best that life has to offer this Thanksgiving and everyday thereafter!

    …Blessings :o)

  65. as a kid, I ate a lot of these little biscuit things called “tomb cakes” for easter. sounds creepy, doesn’t it? the idea is that you take canned croissant rolls, fold them around a giant marshmallow pinching all the edges closed, roll the thing in cinnamon-sugar, and baking them in a muffin tin. the “magic” behind them was that the marshmallows always completely disappeared, I guess like jesus did from the tomb on easter. it’s funny to think about, but they were really yummy in a sickening kind of way. your attempts at creating marshmallow biscuits reminded me of this, that’s all. :) right now I am sitting waiting for pumpkins to bake for my first official attempt at making pumpkin pie completely from scratch. now that I’ve read your post, I am sort of regretting my decision! but it’s worth a try, I think. happy thanksgiving!

  66. Hello! Just made your pumpkin puddings, and they were great. Have been cooking almost exclusively through your blog (although I must admit, I’m bad at following recipes), and love your site.

    You have a cult following here in Lawrence, KS; we students here at KU love your blog. If you are ever passing through the Midwest, there is a fabulous radio show you should visit. Jasper Mirable is an amazing Italian chef in Kansas City, and he has been having some absolutely stellar guests on his talk show. I know that I for one would tune in, and could probably bring a gaggle of college kids (men and women alike!) to cheer you on.

    –Nicole

  67. OMG, those are the funniest photos EVAR. Rock on! I don’t even like marshmallows, and you may have sold me on this biscuits. Thanks, Deb!

  68. This may be too fussy, but have you considered making the biscuits like thumbprint cookies (big depression in the middle), cooking them most of the way, then topping them with a few mini marshmallows or a half big marshmallow in the last few minutes? You won’t get the “surprise!” secret middle, but it would encase the marshmallow and keep it from getting too done. Wow, think I know what I’m doing tonight in between making four pies….

  69. Haha! Between a batch of brownies, four pies, two galettes and a mushroom lasagna (many of the recipes from this site!) I don’t quite have the time, I’m afraid, but this post was awesome! So funny :)

  70. Gah! Bad Deb, you came up with this recipe and now I have to up-end my Thanksgiving menu to make room for them! But I have the ingredients, am the world’s biggest fan of sweet potatoes, and my DH loves biscuits, so it’s happening. Nearly too late to sneak it in, but not quite! Nummy on the way.

  71. Really! I think some things don’t translate too well for other cultures: ) The thought of ruining scones with marshmallows makes me shudder. Though pumpkin scones are very popular in Australia and I love sweet potato – so I may try the version without the marshmallow and the sugar. Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner..

  72. These look amazing. I’m not sure I have time available to add them to the food for tomorrow, but I’m going to try to squeeze them in (especially if they can go in the oven right after the turkey has come out to rest on the counter).

  73. Seriously contemplating buying some gluten-free biscuit mix just to try these this weekend. All they need are some candied bacon and pecans sprinkled on the top (that’s how I make my sweet potato glutton casserole.

  74. So, I tried it. I was so inspired by the pictures. :) But in my opinion, there’s not enough flavor of the sweet potatoes, and unfortunately, even with the “layering” method of dough, the marshmallows still exploded out the sides and melted, leaving awkwardly lop-sided biscuits. :( too bad, because I totally trust your opinion, Deb, and yours seemed to have turned out really well!

  75. Somehow I chanced upon the Martha Stewart video on youtube (okay, I looked up Deb Perelman) because I remember listening to some other radio thing you were on with Melissa Clark and I loved your voice. You looked adorable!

  76. Did not know they were photo edited eyes. They look just like those mini chocolate chips which I will have to try because these are toooo cute. Speaking of too cute-the slide video!! Happy Thanksgiving all.

  77. I’ve cooked with both canned and homemade pumpkin puree and I agree that the homemade stuff isn’t really any better than the canned. I love making things from scratch, but pumpkin puree just isn’t worth it.

  78. So glad you’re posting again. I sort of forgot just how much I love this blog. I knew I missed it, but now that I have it back as a regular read, it’s clear how incomplete my food blogging reading was these past few months. I’m not sure I’d want to put marshmallows in my biscuits. I’d be more inclined to make some type of slightly sweetened cream cheese spread. Happy Thanksgiving!

  79. You always make the perfect things. Perfect because it’s Thanksgiving Eve and those look sumptuous (and silly – the one’s with the eyeballs that is). I actually made sweet potato biscuits a couple years ago (random foodnetwork.com recipe I think) and they turned out… okay… but a little burnt and the texture was off. This has inspired me to try again – in another year’s time (I’m baking enough tomorrow, including your applesauce cake). For now, I’ll just love with my eyes.

  80. OMG! These look amazing! What a great idea too. As always, your photos are outstanding too and – am I gushing?, I think I’m gushing – so cute and humorous too! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  81. I cannot thank you enough for this recipe — I’m eating the first one now, hot from the oven. I’m having a wee little Thanksgiving this year (just the hubs and me) and these biscuits are a perfect way to fit sweet potatoes into my very pared down menu. I’m absolutely going to make these at my parent’s house the day after Christmas since my mom always makes an enormous quantity of her amazing sweet potato purée with crushed pineapple.
    I can’t wait to eat a mini turkey sandwich on one of these at around 10 PM tonight. Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  82. JCC from New Zealand – I’m from Australia and i found the terminology mystifying when I first started reading US and Canadian food websites. Yes, ‘biscuits’ are definitely our scones, that’s clear from the method and ingredients. There are also ‘scones’, which are a bit like our scones but much richer and more like a pastry. (see Jalapeno-cheddar scones in SK recipe index- it has 4 oz of butter and half a cup of cream to 2 cups of flour).

  83. Is it possible that using course sea salt would alter the taste of these biscuits?
    Or any baked goods like pumpkin bread?
    Thanks for the tip!!!!

    1. Coarse sea salt is less salty than the same volume of table salt, so you generally need to add more to have the same saltiness as a recipe that suggests table salt. I lean towards table salt in baking for this reason — it’s the only consistent salt.

  84. Made these–fantastic. If you’re mashing the sweet potatoes by hand, I recommend cutting the biscuits a little thicker, as slightly larger occasional pieces of potato can sabotage the puffiness. Mixed the puree and buttermilk and then put it back in the fridge for 5 minutes before mixing to keep everything ice cold. I did add a pinch of sea salt and a brush of butter on top when reheating these for 2 minutes prior to plating, to bring out the sweetness. Rave reviews. Thank you!

  85. Wonderful recipe! I made these yesterday for Thanksgiving (sans the marshmallows) and they were a HUGE HIT. You always choose the best recipes!

  86. well I accidentaly substituted baking soda for baking powder. bad move I know. even tho the flavor is off (naturally), I can tell these are good as I keep eating them despite the strong bitterness of the soda. will make again – correctly this time.

  87. I like sweet potatoes. I like marshmallows. But I don’t like sweet potato pie. I think it’s because of all the spices (cinnamon) that are generally added, which is the reason I don’t like things like apple butter, either. Until I realized this, I thought I hated sweet potatoes. But I just want my sweet potato to taste like a sweet potato! SO, my question is…does this taste very close to sweet potato pie, or is it more savory than that? Because I WANT to love it….as long as it tastes like a sweet potato (not like I’m eating cinnamon broom).

  88. Hey,

    So these sound delicious, but my BF is lactose intolerant, Do you think that we could do this with Soy milk and Lard instead of Butter milk and butter? I know it wont be exactly the same but I want to choose the best alternative. What do you suggest?

    Cara

  89. Love the fun photos with the biscuits :9 We love sweet potatoes here, too. Oh and thanks for helping to put other home cooks at ease about the fact that, well, canned pumpkin isn’t evil. I felt so self-conscious admitting to using canned pumpkin (oh NOES! Didn’t do the sugar pie pumpkin!) for fear of being judged.

  90. Nothing like a good, hearty yam -vs- sweet potato debate to put everyone in the holiday spirit! ;) And I love the goofy photo edits.

    Sweet potato gnocchi and muffins goin’ on around here. Love the marshmallow idea… but that tangentially reminds me of MY favorite sweet potato casserole topping: oatmeal pecan crumble. Hmmm… wondering if I need to rework my muffin recipe again?

  91. Oh! I love this idea – and your silly photos! Thank you for the whole story of how you arrived at your final outcome n- the ins and outs and the temporary failure to get the results you were looking for. The final product looks delightful. I am really the only sweet potato lover, and bisquit lover, in our family – maybe I’ll have some converts after serving them this!!

  92. What a great idea! So fun and fall-ish, I can’t wait to try them. I always buy sweet potatoes by the box and bake and steam them throughout the fall months as a yummy substitute for mashed potatoes.

  93. Thanks for the recipe! They were a big hit at our Thanksgiving dinner (especially with a little cranberry sauce in the middle) and I will make them again in the future. The only trouble I had is that mine didn’t puff up as much as I would have hoped.

  94. My sister made these this afternoon with leftover yams from Thursday. She did all the work and I just enjoyed them. Another great recipe!

  95. If you roll/pat your dough into a square and cut square biscuits you don’t have the problem of re-rolling the dough.

    I made way too much mashed ‘yams’ this year, but the perfect large dish of carmelized chunks topped with marshmallows. I think some of the mashed leftovers will have to turn into these biscuits to go with the soup. Yam soup with yam biscuits – yep, that will work. ;>

  96. have you tried freezing the mini marshmallows before adding them to the biscuits? it works well in some cookies I’ve made. make sure they’re frozen and work quickly to get them into the oven.

  97. I never had pumpkin pie until I was in my 40’s, I think. We always used sweet potatoes. Baked, mashed, fried, pureed, candied… you name it. But in my house, marshmallows were not used, and truthfully, I do not get marshmallows. As a kid, I ate marshmallow-less s’mores and sweet potato casserole. To me, they are superfluous, but these biscuits are worth a try. They look so yummy! I will make them without the gooey white stuff… just for consistency!

  98. Could you refresh us on biscuit baking? I attempted to make these, using Rumford Baking Powder and King Arthur AP Flour, but my biscuits were dense little pucks :(

    Thanks!

  99. Hmm, possibly, the expiration date is Sept ’13, but I can’t remember when I bought it!
    Will try again with a fresh can.
    Thanks!!

  100. Hi, Happy Late Thanksgiving! Your muffins got me thinking. We never really ate sweet potatoes growing up and rarely do now, though my daughter has a recipe for sweet potato pie that she has made successfully. Enough of that, your recipe inspired(?) me to try pumpkin in James Beard’s Cream Bisquit recipe. I cut back on the heavy cream to 1 cup rather than 1 1/2 cups added a generous dollop canned pumpkin some cinnamon, ginger, cloves and alspice also only used a generous Tablespoon sugar. quite good, nice elusive flavor, not too sweet. Thanks again for your blog. Look forward to your book.

  101. I love sweet potato biscuits. I use the recipe in the Victory Garden, which doesn’t have spices and uses only a tiny bit of milk. I use a mix of ww pastry flour and King Arthur’s perfect pastry blend. They rise really high and are delish. I freeze the sweet potato mash in 3/4 cup increments so I can whip these up on a weeknight. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

  102. I use sweet potato biscuit dough to make chicken and dumplings – that way you can easily see how many dumplings vs how much chicken you have in your bowl.

  103. Hi Deb:)I really love these gorgeous biscuits. Your photos brightened my day because they make my mouth water and make me laugh at same time. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with your family.

  104. Deb,

    This might sound silly but what’s your actual methodology for the roasting process of the sweet potatoes? Do you wrap them in foil or what?

    Thanks!

    1. Roasting sweet potatoes — I roast them right on the oven rack, but you should not, because they always drip. Do so on a roasting pan. I do not wrap them. Baked potatoes never need to be wrapped.

  105. This is the most amusing post ever! Love it!

    With the holidays in full swing I’m wondering what dishes you’d recommend for a potluck? It might even be a nice recipe group to create.

  106. Deb, these look amazing!

    I also have a question for you. I believe I saw a recipe for some cookies here, in which the middles were cut out and inside, hard candies were melted inside to create a stained glass effect. I am now unable to find them…what were they called? Thanks!

  107. I saw the other day that you can buy FLAT marshmallows, they are meant for s’mores. Same..footprint(?) as big marshmallows but FLAT. Think 1/8th inch flat.

  108. Wow, who knew biscuits could be so terrifying? Those gaping mouths…

    But seriously, they look awesome. To cheat, maybe you could use a jar of marshmallow fluff in some way? We don’t have it here in Australia, but I think they sell it in the states?

  109. I really like the idea of marshmallows in sweet potato biscuits. And thanks for the tip of ricing sweet potatoes instead of pureeing them!

    I roasted a pumpkin for pie this year and I though the flavor was much brighter than canned pumpkin. I definitely don’t think I’d do this for all my baking, though. I appreciate convenience.

  110. This post had me giggling like a little kid. I’m so glad your kitchen is overrun with sweet potatoes too! These look SO amazing, gloriously biscuity but with that lovely sweet potato flavor… Mmmm! I can’t wait to make these. Those little marshmallow faces made my day, thanks so much for having a sense of humor :)

  111. I have never encountered canned pumpkin, and the idea that roasting it yourself is much work is strange to me. Mind you, what we call pumpkin here (in Australia), I think you call winter squash. e.g. Butternut. For my pumpkin scones, I steam the pumpkin until just soft, and it works really well.

  112. I made these Thanksgiving morning (sans marshmallows), and they were super easy and delicious! For those concerned about the time involved to roast the sweet potatoes: I didn’t have any whole sweet potatoes left, but did have a can of cooked “yams.” I just rinsed the canned sweet potato chunks (they were packed in a syrup), put them through a ricer, and picked up the recipe from there. My only complaint was I didn’t get quite as many biscuits out of the recipe as it listed (I got 8 and a little taster nubbin’- maybe I kept them too thick, who knows) – but they were so good that next time I will just double the recipe!

  113. I could not agree more with your analysis of canned pumpkin vs. from scratch. So glad to hear that other cooks (with significantly more talen and experience) also turn to the can for consistency.

  114. i used to make a (cinnamon-sugar) marshmallow biscuit that involved rolling the dough thin, then wrapping around a large marshmallow and placing the sealed side down. They are very sweet, as you might imagine, but delish!

  115. Deb, I am so glad that you said they were more scone like, I made them like biscuits and they were very dense as if they hadn’t cooked properly. So if they are more scone like, than they really call for minimal kneading.

  116. For Thanksgiving I wanted to create a dish similar to candied yams but not as sweet. So I chopped up half a butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and an apple, tossed them with a little brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg and roasted until it all caramelized. It took so long to cook that it was ready with the pies and we had it for dessert. It was the perfect amount of sweet.

  117. Oops, forgot to add the buttermilk! They were still good, but seemed to be something… gee, what could THAT be :-) I doubt I’ll make them again though, since I’m the only biscuit lover in the house.

  118. Hey Deb! I used to be a baker and have made more biscuits than I could count. Have you tried freezing the marshmallow and then inserting them in the top? You know how you want your butter to be super cold when making biscuits and pie crusts? I think that might be the trick to making these work. I’ll give it a try and let you know how it goes!

  119. Oh my gosh, these sound fantastic, and your pics & commentary are so funny my husband even had to read the post with me to see what they were all about. Most excellent!

  120. You gave up too easily on the pumpkin puree. First toss the pumpkin and grab a Turkish Squash, cut the top off as if for a halloween pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and drop the top back on so it fits tightly.

    Now put that squash on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for ~two hours. What you will have inside is steamed, mushy, sweet squash meat in a hard shell that pours out. Place in a wire strainer to drain. Ta-da, you have a substitute for pumpkin puree that tastes better. If it’s too mushy use a 1/2 cup of tapioca flour per quart of squash to firm it up.

  121. Yet another exciting thing to make with my potato ricer. I somehow got one only recently and now I’m completely obsessed. Beautiful texture every time!! Thanks for another inspiring recipe. :)

  122. I tried this and the marshmallows went a bit funny. I added too much pumpkin as well. Ahem, oops. But I tried again last weekend (following your instructions very closely this time) and they tasted, indeed,like heaven =) Thanks for providing this recipe.

  123. I made these – even went to the store for the little marshmallows (Pretty sure I’ve literally never bought marshmallows before – turns out those are a goldmine for potty training motivation)… they didn’t rise. Looks like at least someone else had the same problem. Could I have forgotten the baking powder? I don’t think so but I suppose it’s a possibility (my powder is quite new)… They tasted good but so dense… will have to try again…

  124. I totally missed this post pre-Thanksgiving. Now that we’re past it, I’m thinking of making the biscuits, skipping the marshmallows and turning them into delicious ham biscuits.

  125. Made these last night and HOLY COW, they are perfect. Not too sweet, not salty, not spicy… just perfect! I found the flour to be a little much, but the addition of extra buttermilk quickly fixed the situation. I agree with a previous poster, I am going to freeze the marshmallows next time and play around with their placement. I don’t think i would love these as much without so a little more experimenting is needed. I thought about making them without and even dabbing their tops with marshmallow after baking for a much sweeter version… oh the options!

  126. Oh wow these are delicious, even with less sweet potato puree than called for. I can always count on you! I comment to report that I used large marshmallows cut in half, stuck to the top of the biscuits sticky side down, which worked pretty well, though uneven biscuits tended to lose their marshmallow off the side. You get that lovely golden browning of the marshmallows, though, which is critical to the marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole (marshmallows made with fish gelatin do not brown nearly as well).

  127. I made these, but tweaked into savory drop biscuits. Omitted the sugar (I usually add about a tsp of sugar to plain biscuits but figured the sweet potato puree was plenty sweet enough to do that duty and I was right) and the spices. Added some shredded cheddar and doubled the milk. They were wonderful, extremely light, beautiful marigold orange. I have enough puree to make another batch tomorrow and I’ll give the sweet spicy ones a try.

  128. Made these for a party on Sunday (without the marshmallows). They were great. Was asked for the recipe several times. I was really surprised how fast they came together. I doubled the recipe and didn’t have any left. Will be making these again soon.

  129. You are such a witty, keen writer. I enjoyed reading your posts and funny photos! Thanks for making trial and errors in the kitchen a fun thing to go through:) Can’t wait to try this recipe as I’m a big fan of sweet potato!

    Hilary xx

  130. This recipe reminds of my Southern grandma’s biscuits. She would dip a sugar cube in orange juice and place it on top of the biscuit before baking. Baking melts the sugar and the whole orange-sugar flavor seeps into the biscuit. Delicious.

  131. I just made these this morning, and they were among the best biscuits I’ve ever had. I’ve made a few types of biscuits before, but none compare to these, and one of them used pumpkin puree. They didn’t taste like pumpkin at all, but these tasted so much like sweet potato, and the spices were the perfect complement.

  132. What if you tried cutting a hole into the centre of the biscuits, baking them and then fill it with marshmallow for the last 1-2 minutes of baking?

  133. I made these for Thanksgiving this year. I only sort of followed the directions – I had misplaced my parchment paper (no really, where did it go?) and didn’t want to bother with using a cookie cutter to make the round biscuits. Instead I used my ceramic baking pans, which, it is possible, I still haven’t had the gumption to clean off all the heavily carmelized marshmallow goo but which didn’t seem to harm the biscuits. Instead of cutting out round biscuits I just sliced the dough into squares. This was perhaps less of a good idea. They didn’t raise very well and several of the biscuits sort of slipped apart as the marshmallows inside bubbled away. It was not a pretty result. Nobody seemed to mind terribly though, as the biscuits retained their two most important qualities – tasting like sweet potatoes and marshmallows.

  134. I pureed the sweet potato in my little cuisinart with the buttermilk, but when i added it to the dry ingredients it wouldn’t come together (too dry), so I added about 1/3 cup of cream. This little “problem” only made them extra delicious. I tried the frozen marshmallow trick, which I’m sure helped, but they still mostly disappeared in the biscuity depths. I also tried adding a few marshmallows balanced on top of the biscuits for the last couple minutes of baking, and while fussy, this might be the best way to go, as they browned all lovely-and-gooey-like. Someone needs to perfect this recipe! It’s too delicious to be abandoned!

  135. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made these because sweet potato and marshmallow are two of my favorite things ever, and while mine didn’t really rise, they did turn out absolutely delicious!

  136. I made this without the spices on top of chicken pot pie, very tasty! I’ll have to try them with spices next time, since they’ve been requested immediately after they were devoured!

  137. Have you tried freezing the marshmallows first? I saw that in a cookie recipe once but haven’t tried it. What if you made them more scone-like, sandwiching the marshmallows in between as you said, but cutting into mini wedges to avoid re-rolling?

  138. I just made these and pressed chopped walnuts and a bit of coconut onto the top then sprinkled lightly with some cinnamon sugar. Also, I used white whole wheat flour. Next time I’ll do even more coconut because it was so delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  139. I made these this morning as a trial for Thanksgiving and they are wonderful!! I am freezing a batch now in preparation and know they will be a big hit with my family and friends. PS – I do not have a ricer; I just used a fork to mash the roasted sweet potatoes and I think the consistency was perfect. Thanks, Deb!

  140. Quick urgent pre-thanksgiving question!: If I want to make these with marshmallows the morning of Thanksgiving and bring them to a friend’s house that afternoon after cooled, will the marshmallow harden? Any tips?

    Thanks!

  141. Hello!! Do you think you could cut out the biscuits, then cut in half, layer mini marsh marshmallows, then pinch dough back together? Or would that be more difficult? I’m a biscuit beginner :-)
    Thank you!!

  142. Thanks for a fabulous recipe, as always. I made a batch of these last night for thanksgiving – I fed them to my family who said they needed a touch more sweetness. I had no nutmeg and my ginger had likely lost some of its potency :( but my doughs all mixed and ready to go – any ideas on how I can boost the flavor without starting over? Thanks!!!!

    1. You can add sugar-spice glaze — powdered sugar, a bit of buttermilk, milk or water, and some of the spices you wish the filling had more of. Hope that helps!

  143. I’ve made sweet potato biscuits before, but this recipe is far superior. Deb Y, I doubled this recipe with good result. I froze them on a sheet pan and transferred to a bag when frozen. I baked them straight from the freezer. I don’t think they rose as much as they would unfrozen, but since I made them for a large Thanksgiving dinner, the convenience factor won out. Also, having them available to bake one or two at a time in the toaster oven is terrific! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  144. I made these last week, for Thanksgiving and they were amazing! I doubled the recipe and used normal size marshmallows cut in half. I kind of sandwiched them in, as you suggested, but I think shoving a half-marshmallow into the center of each biscuit with my thumb would have worked just as well. I also made them a few days ahead and froze them and it worked perfectly. Thanks!

  145. I’ve made these twice and they are delicious! However, they seemed way too dry with the listed amount of liquid ingredients (3/4 c sweet potato puree and 1/3 c buttermilk). I had to add 3-4 T of extra buttermilk just to get the mixture to come together, and it still looked dry compared to the dough in your photos. They still came out great, but is there something I’m doing wrong?

  146. This didn’t work that well for me. They didn’t really rise that much – and I had to cook them for a good 20m. Still the taste was good. Thanks for posting.