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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Recipe for Holiday Biscuits and Ham

I hope you're having a peaceful and pleasant holiday season!  Growing up in the south, biscuits were a table staple.  There were more biscuit recipes than beehive hairdos!  Mayonnaise biscuits, butter biscuits, rolled biscuits, drop biscuits,... and one of my favorites, cream biscuits.

These yummy little cream biscuits, spread with some jalapeno (or raspberry) jam,  nestled around a piece of ham, and sprinkled with some lemon salt are sure to be a favorite.  I served them for both brunch and as an appetizer for a dinner party this holiday.  They can be made ahead of time and served room temperature or warmed briefly in the oven.  Be sure to use the biscuit cutting technique as described so the biscuits can rise properly and pull apart beautifully when you are ready to add the ham slices.

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 small biscuits


  • Your choice of ham (I used a Kirkland ham steak)
  • Jalapeno or raspberry jam, yellow mustard for serving
  • Biscuit cutter, small
  • 2 2/3 cups of AP flour (plus more for your hands and the counter)
  • 2 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 5/8 tsp table salt (not kosher)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Sprinkling salt (kosher or other large particle salt; I used lemon salt)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line half-sheet cake pan with parchment or baking mats.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, table salt, and sugar and then stir in the cream.
  • Turn out on well floured counter and sprinkle top of dough and your hands well with flour.
  • Knead until well mixed and coming together into a ball, about 1 minute.
  • Reflour counter and pat dough out to 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep circle, flipping dough over frequently as you pat it out so it doesn't stick.
  • Using a biscuit cutter, or a small glass with a sharp edge, press down briskly through the dough to form biscuits.  Don't twist the cutter, just straight down and then pick it up.  The biscuit will either stay put or be in the cutter-you can gently flick it out.  If you twist the cutter or use something not sharp, the biscuits will puff up like rolls instead of rising nicely. If you reshape the dough for additional cutting, try to handle it as little as possible, just push it together gently and continue cutting.  The second pass biscuits are never as "good looking" as the first pass and you may have to cut them rather than pull them apart.
  • Brush the top of the biscuits with milk and sprinkle on your sprinkling salt.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
  • While biscuits cook, use the cookie cutter to cut out rounds of ham (you can glaze and pan fry the ham if you like).
  • Cool briefly, then pull each biscuits in half and pop a piece of ham inside.
  • Serve, or let cool completely and then cover and keep at room temperature for a few hours until ready to serve.  If longer than that, keep in fridge and take out far enough ahead to allow them to come to room temperature.  Can reheat in 200 degree oven for about 10 minutes if desired.
  • Serve with your choice of jams (we loved it with jalapeno jam, raspberry jam) or simple yellow mustard.

At the dinner party, I served these with some champagne.  Perfect!  

Printable recipe