Spoiler Alert. This is not a clean eating recipe. But it is tasty!
Over the past several years I have carried this recipe card from pillar to post, always putting it on display in my kitchen. I found it among my Dad’s things after he died, and having it in sight makes me feel like he is with me when I cook. My Dad was not a baker, so I was pretty sure that he didn’t write the recipe.
After sharing the recipe card on Facebook with some family, I found out that it actually came from a woman named Maria, who was live-in love of one my great-uncles (live-in loves were pretty scandalous at the time). I don’t recall ever meeting Maria nor do I know how her recipe card came to live in my father’s kitchen, but I’m glad it found its way to me. These were delicious biscuits and easy-peasy to make.
For those not familiar with Bakewell Cream, it’s a powdered leavening agent that can be used in place of baking powder or cream of tartar. It was developed during WWII by chemist Byron H. Smith, when there was a shortage of cream of tartar. Today it is still manufactured in Bangor, Maine by Jim Collins, who owns New England Cupboard.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp Bakewell cream
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1½ cups cold milk (I used 1%)
- Preheat oven to 475
- Mix dry ingredients and add shortening.
- In a blender or food processor mix until batter is crumbly, about the size of peas.
- Add milk all at once and stir with a fork until combined
- Turn on a floured board and knead five or six times
- Turn off heat and leave in oven for five to ten minutes until golden brown*
- *I was skeptical of this last step, so I cooked the biscuits at 425 for 10 - 15 minutes instead. Sorry Maria.