Biscuits from scratch:
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.)
2. Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measure. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry.
3. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, 3/4 to 1-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
5. Heat the oven to 425º F. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Makes 9 biscuits.