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Land Run Sweet Biscuits

April 22, 1889. Noon. The Oklahoma Land Run.

Our Great Great Grandfather on our mother’s side, Samuel Allen McNeil, made the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889. He staked a claim just across the Payne county line southeast of Mulhall, OK very near to where Beaver Creek empties into the Cimarron River. Our Nana, Bea McNeil Herrin, was born on the McNeil homestead in 1927.

There was an estimated 50,000 people making the run that day. They were running to claim 160 acres that if they lived on and improved the land, then after 5 years they could receive a title. (Source: Oklahoma Historical Society;

On our mother’s father’s side of our family, we find Cherokee ancestry. Our Great Great Grandma Herrin was Cherokee. She and her husband Edward came to Oklahoma from Kansas about two years after the run of 1889 and Edward had a team of horses that he broke sod with a walking plow to make ends meet. He eventually was able to buy a farm for $700.

I like to think that these biscuits are similar to something they would have made all those years ago ☺️

Land Run Sweet Biscuits

-2 cups unbleached flour

-1 T baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 cup butter, cut into tablespoons

-1 T molasses

-2/3 cup buttermilk

-1 cup syrup (we used maple, and not even 1 cup, just drizzled over the top)

-1 cup pecans, chopped (we also didn’t use pecans this time, but will next time)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease two cast iron skillets. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and mix with dry hands. Work in the butter and molasses with two knives or a strong fork until the mixture resembles course crumbles.

Use your fist to make a bowl shape in the middle of the flour mixture and add buttermilk. Mix together until dough begins to stick together, then knead into a soft ball with your hands using flour on your hands to prevent sticking. Pinch dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into circles 1/2 inch thick. This should make about 15 biscuits. Place the biscuits (not touching) into two warm, greased cast iron skillets. Bake about 8-10 minutes. When biscuits are lightly browned on top, remove from oven and drizzle syrup over biscuits. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Place back in the oven under the broiler for about a minute to caramelize the syrup and the pecans. Serve warm.

I hope you enjoy these biscuits! Big thanks to our Aunt Reah Herrin for sharing her recipe with us. 🤍

Summer ☀️



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