Carrot and cream cheese is a classic pairing that always makes an appearance around Easter. But the combination is usually in sweet recipes. I love a moist carrot cake with rich cream cheese icing, or a carrot cookie with a drizzle of cream cheese glaze. But I decided to turn that combo around, creating a savory interpretation perfect for an Easter brunch. And what Easter brunch would be complete without biscuits?
Cornmeal adds interest to the texture of these biscuits, and carrots contribute a hint of sweetness. Dill is such a perfect pairing with carrots I just had to add a dose to the recipe. The cream cheese butter is rich and flavorful and perfect with these biscuits, but they are also delicious with a smear of plain butter. Try these next to an Easter ham to make a very interesting sandwich combo.
Carrot dill biscuits with cream cheese butter
Yields 12 2-inch biscuits
For the biscuits:
1-1/4 cup soft wheat flour (I like White Lily)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup finely grated carrots (about 1 large carrot)
3/4 cup whole milk
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl using a fork. Add the chopped dill and toss to distribute it evenly. Add the butter cubes, and using a pastry blender or your good clean hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until you have a fine, sandy texture with a few pea size pieces of butter visible. Add the grated carrots and use your hands to toss them into the flour mixture so there are no clumps of carrot and everything is evenly distributed and coated with flour. Add the milk and stir with a spatula just until combined. Knead with your hands in the bowl a few times just to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
3. Lightly flour a work surface or a pastry cloth and dump the biscuit dough on it. Pat the dough into a rectangle, fold it in half, turn it over and pat into a rectangle again. Do this three times, patting the dough into a 1/2-inch slab, then use a well-floured 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Place the biscuits vey close together, almost touching, on the prepared baking sheet. Gently fold and pat the scraps of dough and cut more biscuits.
4. Bake the biscuits for 12 – 15 minutes until risen, puffed and lightly browned. If you like a burnished top to your biscuits, turn the broiler on for the last 1 – 2 minutes of baking.
For the cream cheese butter:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Beat all the ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer until thoroughly combined and smooth. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors meld.
2. Bring to room temperature before serving. The cream cheese butter can be keep covered in the fridge for up to a week. Makes about 1 cup.
Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Potted ham