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“I’ve always believed butter is a magic ingredient,” Joanna Gaines explains in her newest cookbook, Magnolia Table, Volume 3. We wholeheartedly agree, and it happens to be the key to making these honey butter layered biscuit bites as light and fluffy as possible.
“Before I make this recipe,” she continues, “I cut cold butter into small pieces, about the size of a pea. This ensures that when the biscuits are baking, the butter melts and releases steam, which creates small pockets of air. Those pockets of air are what make the biscuits airy and flaky. It’s impossible to eat only one.”
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
¾ cup cold buttermilk
¼ cup honey
1 large egg yolk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Fruit preserves, for serving (optional)
1. Make the Biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the cold butter cubes and toss to coat. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
3. With a wooden spoon, slowly work in the buttermilk, honey and egg yolk until a slightly sticky dough is formed. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with a little more flour.
4. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick rectangle. Starting from one short end, fold one-third of the dough upon itself, then repeat on the other end, like folding a letter. Repeat, rolling and folding the dough two more times. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
5. Roll the chilled dough about ¾ inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out biscuits. Arrange them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gather and reroll the scraps once to cut out additional biscuits. (Leftover scraps can be baked as-is or discarded.) Refrigerate the tray of biscuits for at least 30 minutes.
6. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the biscuits to cool for 5 minutes.
7. Make the Honey Butter: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the honey and salt. Continue whisking until the ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute.
8. Serve the warm biscuits with honey butter or preserves, if desired, on the side.
Note: Store the biscuits in a sealed bag at room temperature for up to 2 days. Store the butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator.