Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

This weekend, we made a to-do list of all of the things we either needed or wanted to accomplish. Daddy wrote the list. On it were things like "go through outgrown baby clothes" and "get haircuts." But when I looked at the list that Daddy had written, there was something totally unexpected on it. "Cheddar bay biscuits." Never one to miss a beat, I replied with "Um, would you like for me to make some cheddar bay biscuits this weekend?" I am sure you can guess the answer.

So off we went, googling different recipes to find one that looked scrumptious. Of course they all did. Daddy chose this one, which is the one I would have chosen too, because her blog is pretty awesome.

The only problem was that this recipe (as well as most of the ones that we had short-listed) called for Bisquick. Which is something I don't tend to keep in the house. I think I have bought it once. I found it pretty unnecessary, to be honest, and never thought about it again. Until now. I wasn't really too jazzed about the idea of buying it just for this recipe, so I did what I always do - I looked online for a substitute. Bisquick is basically a pre-prepared biscuit mix containing flour, baking powder, salt and some kind of fat (oil/butter - whatever they use to make it shelf-stable). I found several recipes but settled on this one, as the ingredient list was short and the reviews were good.

While we didn't get to make these over the weekend, I did make them yesterday, and it was quite an interesting process. Making the "Bisquick" was quite simple, and was quickly accomplished while little miss was at school. I measured the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisked them together.

I then took a quick second to give a couple smooches to these:

(side note - do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of a baby's feet? Seriously, they don't hold still. At all. Holy smokes, that was an adventure! Ahem... back to the cooking...)

Dry ingredients combined, it was time to incorporate the fat - butter. The recipe calls for cold butter to be cut in with a pastry cutter. Or two knives. But I used my favorite new trick - grating the cold butter and simply working it in with my fingertips (yes, they were washed after smooching on those baby toes). Grating the butter makes it so easy, as the pieces are then practically the size you need them for the recipe. I love this trick.

Anyway, once the butter is incorporated, you are done! The mixture can actually be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. So I just put mine into a gallon sized zip top bag, labeled it (including the date), and viola! Instant "Bisquick"!

Later in the afternoon, closer to dinner, it was time for the actual biscuits. Again, very short ingredient list, which is something I like. To the prepared biscuit mix, all that was added was butter, grated cheese, garlic powder and milk. I actually had a little bit of heavy cream left in the fridge, not really enough for anything else, so I used that in addition to some milk to make the 3/4 cup required by the recipe. The mixture is mixed by hand, and then came the fun part. And I am being a bit sarcastic here.

The recipe says to form quarter cup scoops of the mixture into biscuits and place them on a baking sheet. What the recipe didn't tell me was quite how crumbly the mixture would be. Which makes it very difficult to neatly shape biscuits. As you can see, despite my best efforts, my biscuits were a tad bit crumbly. I didn't want to overwork the dough (I wanted them to be flaky!), bit these shapes did require quite a bit of squishing to hold. I figured that once baked, the butter and cheddar cheese would really hold them together, so I just did the best I could.

While the biscuits bake, there is one more step - preparing an herbed butter topping. Melted butter, garlic powder and parsley were mixed together, then brushed onto the tops of the fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits.

These made such a yummy side dish, and Daddy said that they were exactly what he'd been hoping for. Me? I had never had cheddar bay biscuits before, so had no idea what to expect. I was surprised, I will admit, that something called "cheddar BAY biscuits" did not call for Old Bay seasoning (most of the recipes I saw for these didn't!), but I didn't miss it at all, and really enjoyed them. Even little miss, who always needs a bit of convincing where cheese is concerned, loved them.

So score one for a delicious new recipe, and for another item successfully crossed off the weekend to-do list!

Homemade Bisquick Substitute

6 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or even your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four months.
Use in any recipe calling for Bisquick!


  1. Awwwwww - look at the li'l feeties - so cute! Your biscuits look lovely too but the wee feet overshadow them!

  2. Like the tip to grate the butter. I'll have to give it a try. I'm sure cheddar in biscuits must be fabulous.


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