Simply Remembering — Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

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Last week my husband and I took our three girls for a couple days of camping in Hocking Hills State Park in southern Ohio. We had a great time with great weather and time to spend together. Driving through the windy, hilly roads in that area reminded me of days when I was a lot younger, traveling with my family in Wisconsin to my grandparents’ cottage in Mt. Morris. We didn’t get there often before my grandparents sold it, but the times I spent there created some great memories. There was something special about being in a place where we knew Mom had spent many summers growing up. We loved to sit at the end of the pier, feeding stale bread to the sunfish and painted turtles. We’d search for acorns fallen from the tall oaks surrounding the small cottage and wonder about the remnants of the stone trail on the side of the hill left by Native Americans that once lived in that area. Walks around the lake were an adventure; we’d secretly hope for a stop for hand-dipped ice cream cones at the small shop along the main road. That’s where my love for Moose Tracks was born.

It’s often the simplest things in life that we remember the most. Many times when my family would make the trip to the cottage, we’d stop at Hardee’s along the way. There we each got a cinnamon-raisin biscuit, warm and gooey with frosting. They didn’t cost a whole lot, but it was a special treat for us, one that I haven’t forgotten.

In the middle of winter, when it’s cold and dark — perfect chili weather — I’ll often make drop baking powder biscuits to accompany the chili. Sometimes I’ll throw out a little nod to Red Lobster and add in cheddar cheese and garlic. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that it really wouldn’t be difficult to throw a nod to my past and make my own warm cinnamon-raisin biscuits all gooey with frosting. 

In less than 30 minutes I had a memory in my mouth and a delicious variation to go with it. Simple.

 

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Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening or 1 stick margarine or butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tbsp. milk
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. If using baking stone, preheat in oven.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening using pastry blender or criss-crossing two knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk until dough leaves side of bowl (dough will be soft and sticky).  Stir in raisins and cinnamon-sugar mixture, being careful to not mix in completely, but leaving streaks.
  4. If not using baking stone, grease cookie sheet with shortening. Drop dough by spoonfuls (you can choose how big or small you’d like your biscuits to be) onto cookie sheet or baking stone, about 1-1/2 inches apart.
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool for 10 minutes. While biscuits are cooling, mix powdered sugar and vanilla in medium bowl. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting is of a consistency that will drizzle but not run all over. Keep in mind that the frosting will get softer as it hits the warm biscuits. Once biscuits are slightly cooled, drizzle with frosting.

Black & White Chocolate Variation: Omit raisins and cinnamon-sugar. Add 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips to biscuits at end of step 3.

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