I have a thing for biscuits, scones, quick breads, all of that type of food. They are quick, they are easy and the biscuits are pure southern comfort food. There is nothing like a biscuit, spread with some fresh butter and dripping with honey or jam.
That said though, there are times I like to change it up. Biscuits are fun to play with. Ok, that came out sounding strange. I now have a mental image of myself and the boys outside batting around a biscuit. Hmmm, back when I was first learning to make them, that actually may have been possible, though if someone got hit with one, it would have been fatal. Asssssss I was saying before I had an “ooo, shiny thing” moment there, biscuits are fun to play with. The normal ones are delicious, but they lend themselves to so many variations. I have made them with the addition of bacon, green onions, cheese, dried fruits, you name it, it can probably go in biscuit dough.
This time I wanted to make them a wee bit more sophisticated. Though sophistication falls by the wayside when they are being eaten by three boys whose idea of sophistication is McDonalds and whose table manners resemble a horde of hungry Hyenas attacking an elephant carcass after being on a 4 day juice fast. But hey, *I* actually took the time to savor them and enjoy the step up from plain biscuits. I used a good amount of cracked pepper in these (enough that when my five year old actually stopped eating long enough to breathe, he said “these are spicy, momma!” I used two slightly more upscale cheese (as opposed to say, American cheese slices 😛 ) and the flavor was wonderful…. cheesy, peppery, with all the flavors of a good biscuit also. This is perfect for a fancier dinner or a family dinner or just to nosh on.
You know the drill…. 🙂
Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits
- 4 cups self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup solid shortening, chilled and sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (use whole milk buttermilk if you can find it. It makes a far better biscuit and really, low fat milk in a biscuit is a waste of time calorie wise)
- 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 ounces Fontina Cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces Havarti Cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 425 (400 if your oven runs hot) degrees, Grease a large baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cheeses.
- Drop the butter and shortening into the bowl of flour. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles pea sized crumbs.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, all at once, Use a fork to stir and combine the milk with the flour until you have a cohesive dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board or counter top. Pat it down into a flat circle. Fold it into thirds like you’re folding a letter to fit into an envelope. Pat it down again, fold it one more time. Finally, pat it into a rough circle of about 1 inch high.
- Cut out as many biscuits as you can get, laying them right next to each other in the baking pan if you want soft sided biscuits or about an inch apart if you want crisp sided biscuits.
- Bake at 400 to 425 for about 20 to 24 minutes, until they are firm on top and golden brown. Take off the pan and serve piping hot, preferably with some nice fresh homemade butter. Believe it or not, even with the cheese and the pepper, these are excellent with honey on them too; it adds to the flavor, making a sweet/savory combo.
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