I remember many things about my grandmother. The scar along her jaw line. Her strong, veiny hands. Her stubborn frown (very much like the ones belonging to all three of my daughters). Her need to feed anyone who walked through her door.
My gramma’s specialty was sausage gravy and biscuits. Everyone requested these from her and she always had the ingredients on hand. If we were lucky, there were leftover biscuits and she would make chocolate biscuits out of them. I remember eating them with a glass of milk, sitting at her kitchen table late at night.
I bet there are those of you out there who don’t have a clue as to what chocolate biscuits are. I don’t know anyone outside our family who does. Imagine my surprise when my mom called me up and said she had found a recipe for them in cookbook she had.
Before I started cooking dinner last night, I was thinking over what we were having. Fresh green beans from the farmer’s market were on the menu. This brought back memories of sitting with my grandma with newspaper on my lap helping her snap beans. Later she would either boil them with salt pork or string them up to dry and cook later. Thinking of these things made me long for something of hers and chocolate biscuits just seemed to fit the bill.
I ended up adding biscuits to our dinner menu. They were so good and tender and buttery that we almost didn’t have any leftovers. Luckily I had kept some off to the side. After dinner I made the chocolate “gravy”, which is basically just chocolate pudding.
Next, I broke up half our remaining biscuits and put in a bowl. I think my gramma left her biscuits whole or maybe halved. I broke mine into bit-sized pieces.
Then I poured half the chocolate gravy over those:
Then I repeated the layers. Since the chocolate gravy recipe I used didn’t thicken like I thought it would, I hoped it would do so as it cooled. It did a bit but not nearly enough. I remember my grandma’s being thick and rich and chocolately. This was good and was definitely rich but it just didn’t taste the way I remember. That’s why I did not include the recipe I used for this batch. Instead I included a recipe for regular old chocolate pudding. It is much more like what I remember my gramma’s being like and I think it will yield much better results. The chocolate chips aren’t a traditional ingredient in my gramma’s gravy, but in this version it helps add a bit more sweetness and richness. I’ve never used it to make chocolate biscuits before but I’ve always thought it would be good for them. Guess I should have listened to my instincts. Next time.
I wish I could include my gramma’s world-famous, heirloom-quality biscuit recipe but the few time I saw her make real biscuits, she never measured anything. Later she just resorted to using Jiffy Mix. I guess that was good for local economy since she lived down the road from where Jiffy is made. You can use any kind of biscuit to make chocolate biscuits. Homemade, Jiffy, refrigerated…it doesn’t really matter.
I miss my gramma everyday and ever since she died I remind myself how lucky I was to have had her for 32 years. It makes me sad that my girls will never know her like I did. Although they did seem to inherit her fiestiness and I’ll always have chocolate biscuits to make for them and share memories over.
I love you Gram.
Chocolate Pudding for Making Chocolate Biscuits
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups milk
2 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a medium sauce pan. Turn heat on medium and whisk in milk. Stir until pudding thickens. Add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate it melted and pudding is at desired consistency. Allow to cool slightly. Add vanilla and stir in completely before pouring over biscuits.