Valentine’s Day is approaching rapidly. I’ll be honest, it’s the first in awhile that I’m actually really excited about. Maybe the first one ever!
Because of this, I wanted to make sure that Valentine’s Day was extra-special, and I knew an extra-special Valentine’s breakfast would be perfect. Visions of pink pancakes or strawberries danced in my head, and then I realized the perfect breakfast was in front of me all along– a merging of two family recipes that were sure to delight.
The biscuit recipe is an old family recipe that I found in a church cookbook from about 40 years ago. I’m a huge fan of old church cookbooks– they seem to have the best recipes in it, some great down-home cooking. What I loved was finding this gem of a recipe– not only was it in a church cookbook I’ve almost worn out, but it was a recipe from my own family!
As for the chocolate gravy, I had honestly never heard of such a thing until my grandfather moved to Arkansas. In visiting, many of his friends would mention chocolate gravy. I was a bit alarmed– chocolate gravy?! That sounds… odd. However, after he grabbed the recipe for me, I was able to find out why it was such a beloved recipe.
As a bonus, one part of the recipe is kid-friendly, which means it’s even better for Valentine’s Day– the kids can pitch in and make breakfast in bed!
You’ll want to gather the ingredients shown above, plus your favorite red food coloring. I personally love Americolor’s “Red Red.” It’s the most vivid with the least amount of effort. Of course, if red isn’t your thing, you can try any color– your loved one’s favorite color, or a muted Valentine’s tone, like purple. You can also switch the red out for team colors on gameday– think Chicken and Biscuits in team colors.
Start by sifting together 2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Next, add 1/3 cup of shortening (you can also substitute butter for a buttery flavor). This should be COLD. Like, nearly ice cold. You want it to kind of chip when you cut it. The colder it is when you add it at this step, and the less the dough is handled, the flakier your biscuits will be. See, when your fat (which is either shortening or butter, or lard) is cold, and it hits the hot oven, it will melt, leaving pockets of air where it melted. If you use warmer butter or shortening, it will melt, but it won’t be in chunks to leave those layered pockets, leaving a denser, less flaky biscuit.
Add in two cups of milk. Again, the milk should be very cold– the colder it is, the colder the butter or shortening stays as you combine the ingredients and roll it out, which will leave that flaky texture I mentioned earlier.
It’s now that the fun starts…
Add in a couple of drops of food coloring, then fold and pull to get a swirled effect, not combining too much– if you knead too much, you’ll warm up the butter. You want a very lightly swirled effect.
Gently flour your surface and rolling pin, then roll out your biscuit dough to 3/8 inch (you can eyeball it! Just try to get it under a half inch). When you get your dough rolled thin, you’re going to fold it in half, then fold it in half again the opposite way (so fold it towards you, then side to side, or vice versa). Roll it out slightly more– to just over half an inch. This folding and re-folding will also add layers to your biscuits, allowing that flaky texture (in addition to the cold shortening).
Cut the biscuit using a round cutter (or a heart cutter, if you want to be extra festive. Or a glass if you don’t have a round cutter. Or a knife).
You’ll want to place your biscuits fairly close together on the greased pan. If they’re close together, they’ll rise up instead of spreading out. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-9 minutes, until they’re golden.
The biscuits are very easy for kids to help with! They can sift, mix, knead, and cut the biscuits out.
While the biscuits bake, you can start on your chocolate gravy!
Start by melting a full stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add in 4 tablespoons of flour and 4 tablespoons of cocoa; you’ll also need 3/4 cup sugar at this stage. Keep stirring!
Stir in 2 cups of milk.
You’ll want to keep stirring over medium heat until it’s thick. When I first made chocolate gravy, I thought “Is this thick enough? How will I know when it’s thick?” When you first start to notice it’s getting a touch thicker, keep stirring a little longer and you’ll see what I mean when I say “You’ll know it when you see it.” When it’s about gravy consistency, you’re there. Think about the consistency you want when you pour a ladle of delicious gravy over your biscuits, and when you get there, stop stirring, remove from heat, and serve.
Now, take your honey some breakfast in bed and enjoy!
For those of you counting calories this Valentine’s Day, one biscuit and a ladle of gravy nets you about 322 calories. The biscuit alone is 145 calories and is delicious when topped with anything your heart desires. However, all calorie counts and nutrition information is based off the of the ingredients I used. Your mileage may vary.
Do you have a special V-Day food that you love to enjoy with your family? Ever heard of chocolate gravy? Sound off in the comments below!