Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sharp White Cheddar Biscuits

When I was about 8 years old, I remember being invited to a new friend's house...and eating all of the biscuits at the table.
I remember her mother saying, "So tonight we are having biscuits with dinner--do you like those, Annelise?"
Yes. Yes, I love biscuits.  Oh, do I love biscuits.
"Well, we love biscuits too.  Feel free to eat as many as you want."
So I did.
Her mother baked about ten of them, and I easily finished off five.  There were five other people at the dinner table.
When my mother came to pick me up, my friend's mother looked at her and said, "Annelise really loves biscuits.  She ate five of them."
As an eight-year-old, this sounded like an accomplishment.  I beamed at my mother and didn't understand the angry look she gave me in response.  

So, in conclusion, I love biscuits.

A couple of days ago I decided I would make some, but it seemed somewhat boring to just post...biscuits.  I wanted them to have a little something special...

And what's better than adding my new favorite Extra Sharp Canadian White Cheddar (Aged for 2 years)?
Nothing, to be honest.

It's best to use the sharpest cheese you can find in these biscuits.  The sharpness of the cheese will impart a much more pronounced cheddar flavor into these biscuits.  That is a wonderful thing.

So, without further ado, set your ovens to 400 degrees. 

Sift together your flour, baking powder, salt, and the tiny pinch of sugar.

Usually I don't sift, but it's kind of hard to avoid considering the way they're made.  You'll see what I mean in a sec. 

All sifted and pretty.

Cut a stick of butter into cubes...


Throw the butter into the flour mixture...

This is my pastry...cutter? I keep forgetting the actual name for this.  When I went to the store I said, "Where are your pastry cutters?"  The cashier took me to a pizza cutter.  I guess they're called something else? 

Ah, the internet saved me. It's called a pastry blender.  
It's important to have one of these when you're making pie crusts, scones or biscuits so that the heat from your hands doesn't melt the butter.  Melted butter in a pie crust/biscuit dough= Angry baker.  Trust me on this one.  If you don't have one of these, feel free to use two knives to cut the butter into the flour.  It takes a long time, but I empathize.  You can do it!

Use the pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture.  You can stop when the butter chunks are roughly the size of peas.  Butter chunks = flaky biscuits.  Know what I'm saying?

I worship at the foot of this cheese altar.

Go ahead and shred the sharp (REALLY SHARP) cheddar you got for these biscuits.

Go ahead and throw the cheese into the mixing bowl.  

Yay, the cheese is now incorporated!

Pour in the milk in small increments, until the dough is uniformly moist and there are no dry bits.

The dough will look like this.  

Not a crooked picture at all.
Grease a cookie sheet.  I used butter because I was feeling bold.

So I didn't measure how much dough I used for each biscuit, but I'm guessing it's close to just under half a cup for each little guy.  

Not sure why this picture looks this way.  I could rotate it, but why?

While the biscuits are in the oven for 15-17 minutes, melt about 3 tbsp of butter in the microwave.

So pretty.
When you take them out of the oven you're going to brush them with the melted butter.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

Look! It's a mountain of biscuit-y goodness!

These are no ordinary drop biscuits, my friends. 

See how flaky they are?

So happy with the way these turned out.  Seriously lekker.

Yes, I ate five.
Just keeping up with tradition.

Hope you enjoy these, guys!


Here's the recipe:

Sharp White Cheddar Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, plus more for brushing
1 cup Milk
Pinch Sugar
1 cup  sharp (extra sharp…please?) cheddar (White cheddar? Yes?)

1.       Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2.       Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3.       Grate the sharp cheddar and add it to the dry mixture.
4.       Slowly incorporate the cup of milk small increments at a time until combined and there are no more bits of dry flour visible.
5.       Grease a cookie sheet and drop the dough in measurements of about ¼ cup (I didn’t measure it…it probably ended up being between half a cup and ¼ cup of dough per biscuit) onto the sheet.  Leave some space for them to spread a small bit.  It should make about 12 biscuits.
6.       Bake for 15 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven melt 3 tbsp of butter in the microwave. Resist the urge to drink the melted butter.
7.       Take the biscuits out of the oven and brush with the melted butter.
8.       And behold…deliciousness! 

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