My first ever real job, besides babysitting, was working at Hardee's when I was 16. I remember my dad hauling me down to the building they were doing interviews in. (The restaurant wasn't even open yet.) I was not very thrilled with him. But they interviewed me, hired me that afternoon, and started training me the next week. And you know what, I actually loved that job! I worked with some really fun people, and made a bunch of new friends. And of course it was nice having the extra cash.
One thing I remember about working there was the amazing cinnamon raisin biscuits. I didn't usually work the morning shift, but sometimes my lunch shift would start early enough that I could buy some before work. I'm not even a huge fan of raisins, but man I loved those biscuits! Nice and cinnamon-y with a yummy glaze on top, and oh so good all warm and gooey.
After I left for college, Hardee's went out of business, and I never saw those cinnamon raisin biscuits anywhere else. Last year I stumbled across a recipe that claimed to be a copycat of the Hardee's cinnamon raisin biscuits. I tried it, and they were good, but not as good as I remembered. So for the next few months I kept tweaking the recipe till I finally came up with a version that I loved. It is not the same as the original biscuits, but to be honest I think I like these even more. Can't remember for sure, it has been almost 20 years. Yikes, it's painful to type that!
Anyway, they are full of cinnamon flavor, and are nice and tender. And the cinnamon glaze on top makes them extra special. They are best served warm, so if you have any leftovers, just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. They also freeze well, so sometimes I make a double batch and freeze half of them in a tupperware container. They warm up just perfectly in the microwave.
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Biscuits
1 cup bran flakes, finely crushed
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup frozen butter
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup *raisins
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2-3 tsp milk
For swirl: Combine crushed bran flakes, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter till well combined. Set aside.
For biscuits: Combine flour sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Grate in the frozen butter. (Or if you prefer, you can use cold butter and cut it in with a pastry blender.) Stir together. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla till well blended. Add raisins. Pour wet ingredients over flour mixture and mix lightly just till combined. Gently fold in cinnamon mixture. Pat dough to 1" thickness and cut into circles. Place on a cookie sheet. For best results, place entire pan of biscuits in the freezer for 30 minutes. Bake at 425° for about 18 minutes or till lightly browned. Cool for about 5 minutes, then drizzle with glaze.
For glaze: Mix all ingredients together till smooth, adding enough milk to get the right consistency.
*We don't eat raisins very fast at my house, so sometimes they get pretty dried out. I like to plump them up by soaking them in hot water for about 30 minutes, then draining them really well before adding them to the recipe.