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Cheddar biscuits

If your neighborhood Red Lobster is closing, this is the recipe for you. Plus, you can tweak the recipe to your heart’s content: more (or less) cheese, more (or less) garlic, more (or less) salt.

Makes about 10 biscuits. Preparation time: about 30 minutes.


For the batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

For the butter sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley or chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a half-sheet baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, grated cheese, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and garlic powder. We will take the classic approach of combining the dry ingredients together, then the wet ingredients, and then bringing the dry and wet together. In this case, we’re going to treat the grated cheese as a dry ingredient.

Measure the buttermilk into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add the egg and stir for 45-60 seconds to fully combine. Seriously, stir for a full minute. It takes that long to break up the filaments in the egg so that it’s smooth.

Melt the butter, and stir it into the milk/egg mixture. If the milk is cold, the butter may start to harden up again. It’s not a big deal, and in the end might even make the biscuits flakier.

Pour the milk/egg/butter mixture in with the dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly combined into a thick, sticky batter. This is a “drop biscuit” recipe, not a “cookie cutter biscuit” recipe.

Scoop up about 1/4 cup of batter and drop it onto the baking pan. Repeat until all the batter is used up, making about 10 biscuits. Leave a couple of inches between biscuits, though they don’t grow that much in the oven.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. While biscuits are baking, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the parsley, garlic powder and onion powder until thoroughly combined.

After the biscuits have baked for 10 minutes, remove them from the oven (but leave the oven on). Brush the top of each biscuit with the butter/garlic/onion/parsley sauce. Place the baking pan back in the oven and continue baking until the tops have browned, about 5-7 minutes. You could fully bake the biscuits first and then brush on the butter sauce, but it tends to leave the tops soggy. Adding it midway allows for the tops to dry out again and for the butter to brown a bit.

Remove biscuits from the oven. Serve hot.

Tips and suggestions:

  • Reduce the flour to 1 3/4 cups, and add 1/4 cup of barley flour. It will add a bit more complexity to the flavor.
  • You can vary the amount of cheese, anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup. However, keep in mind that the more cheese you add, the less light and fluffy the biscuits will be.
  • If you want, you can take the classic pastry-making approach of cutting the butter into small pea-sized pieces and working it directly into the flour, rather than melting it and mixing it in. This is done in pastry recipes to add flakiness to the pastry, but I haven’t found that it makes much difference in this recipe (probably due to the grated cheese).
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk, but then leave out the baking soda and increase the baking powder to 1 tablespoon. Buttermilk is more acidic than regular milk, so we use baking soda with it instead of baking powder.