For the biscuits:1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing the biscuits
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350˚F. Place pecan pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans and stir to toast until butter is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before incorporating into the dough.
Increase the oven temperature to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter (using your fingers or a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until some of the butter flakes are the size of peas and some are the size of oat flakes.
In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat lightly with a fork. Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough. Fold in the buttered pecans.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 10 times. Roll or pat out into a 1-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds using a round cutter or cut into 2×2-inch squares. Reshape and roll dough to create more biscuits with excess scraps. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm. Biscuits are best the day they’re made, and though they can be frozen and lightly reheated in the oven if you need a future treat.