I’m reaching way back for today’s recipe. Twenty years at least. I remember first hearing someone mention Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits back in, oh, about the mid-1980s or so. Of course, I grew up enjoying buttermilk biscuits on a regular basis but the idea of a “sweet” biscuit had really never entered my mind. Biscuits were savory! Weren’t they?
As I soon found out, biscuits can be all sorts of things. Sweet or savory, with combinations of fruit or herbs or cheeses that take that standard, but utterly delicious, buttermilk biscuit to all new heights!
There is a fast food chain that offers Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits on their breakfast menu and this recipe is pretty close to theirs. I love these biscuits with a good cup of coffee and little else. You might also enjoy them split with a pat of butter (preferably a nice, rich Irish variety) and honey drizzled over. They’re also fabulous for an afternoon snack with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. Hope you enjoy this little retro gem of a recipe!
This step is completely optional, but I always like to plump the raisins before adding them to the biscuit dough. It makes them nice and tender and juicy in the finished biscuits instead of hard and chewy. However, if you want to skip right to mixing the dough, be my guest :-) To plump the raisins, place them in a small bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Let the raisins sit for about 10 minutes. Drain well.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Add the shortening and butter. Cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or fork until fine crumbs form. Now, I know someone is going to question why I would include baking soda and baking powder when the recipe calls for self-rising flour. Well, I don’t have a scientific explanation for you, I just know it works. I think it’s because this dough is pretty heavy, and it takes a little extra oomph to push it skyward with all those raisins in the mixture. I’ve left it out before and wished later I had included it. The biscuits are still really good without it, just not so fluffy. Your mileage may vary.
Next, add the buttermilk and raisins. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Be careful not to overmix. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the dough in the bowl and stir again only enough to swirl it through the batter.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. The dough will be pretty rough and shaggy looking at this point. That’s okay. Knead the dough just enough to bring it together – 3 or 4 times at most.
Flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 1/2-inch thick circle.
Cut out biscuits using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Gently gather together the scraps, form a circle, and continue cutting out biscuits.
Here’s a little tip – as I said earlier, this is a somewhat heavy dough. It’s also wet and sticky which means it can be difficult to handle. I find it much easier if I keep a little “puddle” of flour on the board and dip my cutter into it before cutting out each biscuit. I also transfer the biscuits from the board to the baking sheet with a spatula dipped in flour.
Also, remember when cutting out any biscuits to press the cutter straight down and pull it straight back up without twisting. Twisting the cutter tends to seal the edges of the biscuits and that prevents them from rising as high as they otherwise would.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
To make the glaze, stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer to a zip top bag and press the glaze down into one corner. Twist the top closed just as you would a regular pastry bag. Snip the corner and pipe onto cooled biscuits.
More biscuit recipes you might enjoy:
- Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Brown Eyed Baker
- Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits from Joy the Baker
- Lynn’s Paradise Biscuits from The Amateur Gourmet
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Biscuits from How Sweet It Is
- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Biscuits from Copycat Recipes
- Green Chile Biscuits and Country Gravy from Spoon Fork Bacon