Red Lobster makes their Cheddar Bay Biscuits and I gotta say mine are not a “copycat” but I was inspired by them! Honestly, I think my Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits are even better than anything you can get at Red Lobster.
Heresy you say? Well, maybe so, but just know that my recipe is adapted from a drop biscuit recipe from those geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated. So right away, you know they’re gonna be good!
About Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits:
Even though I’m Southern, now (just a little joking since I’m a Minnesota transplant) I hafta say I’m not always a big biscuit fan. That might be a giveaway I’m not a native right there! A biscuit has to be really something special for me to get behind it. These Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits qualify!
They’re soft and pillowy, have just a bit of a crisp to the top and edges, and most of all, flavor for days. They’re also incredibly moist and tender. If you think you’re gonna split these in half to slather even more butter on them (they already have so much inside and on top) think again. It wouldn’t be impossible but it is very likely they will just about disintegrate in your hand.
All that butter does one thing, though! These biscuits are fabulous warm, still exceptional cold, and if you happen to have any left, really good the next day, too!
FYI: While I love making these easy biscuits to accompany a meal, I have also used them before to top my Chicken & Biscuit Casserole. You’ll need to make them a little smaller than the recipe, below, says, and you won’t use all the batter, so any extra will need to be baked off separately.
Making Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits:
Although I always like to credit a recipe source, I made a few adaptations to the Cook’s Illustrated Recipe. To compensate for the addition of cheese, I added more baking powder and just a little less salt. Beyond that, I doubled the butter for the top and added garlic salt and lots of parsley.
I’ve found that regular old flour works fine in this recipe. I wouldn’t make a special trip for it, but if you use it, I love Martha White All Purpose flour in this recipe. Just make sure you’re not using the self-rising kind. They call it light flour, but what it really is is flour from soft wheat, not hard. You may need to add a quarter cup more flour if you use any light flour – start with 2 cups and add a bit more if needed.
Three big keys to the success of this recipe:
- First, melt your butter and let it sit for 5 minutes, and make sure your buttermilk (or substitute) is cold. Mixed together, they will form globules – little lumps – that help keep those biscuits flakey and tender.
- Next, it is so important to just barely mix these biscuits. Just until they pull away from the bowl as the recipe states.
- Last of all, do not overbake! If you press on the top of the biscuit, your finger should sink ever so slightly and the biscuit should pop back up. They’ll be very soft out of the oven but firm up in no time as they cool.
One disclosure: My OXO scoop measures 1/4 cup but only makes 11, not 12 biscuits as stated in the recipe. Your results may vary.
Options for Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits:
I like the sharp Cheddar coz the flavor really comes through more than a softer, more melty cheese and the biscuits hold their texture better.
That being said, use what you like! As a matter of fact, I’d love to hear any variations you come up with! I personally, haven’t put bacon in these but I can’t say that I’m not far from doing so, lol!
I tend to like to butter the tops pretty heavily and use quite a bit of garlic salt and parsley. Like enough garlic to stun a vampire. You can certainly go by taste. You couldn’t go wrong with a few red pepper flakes in the butter topping mixture, if you lean toward a little heat.
Storing and Reheating the Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits:
These do keep very well for a day or two. You can keep in the fridge but I like to keep them in an airtight container on the counter. I personally think most baked goods don’t do all that great in refrigerator conditions.
Reheat a biscuit or two wrapped in a paper towel or napkin in the microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds or alternately, in the oven, try 300 degrees for 10 minutes.
Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits freeze beautifully after they’re cooked. Wrap tightly and secure in a container for protection. Reheat from frozen in the microwave or oven as directed above. A little bit of time will need to be added.
- Watch for baked goods and butter to be on sale around any major holiday that involves food…check out my post Win at the Grocery for links for items to watch sale prices on sale during each of the holidays.
- Cheese is sometimes on sale during holidays, too. Both plain old grocery store and better cheese. You’re likely to find cheese on sale on the regular, and don’t forget to check your big box store or Aldi or Lidl for great prices.
- Grocery Store Cheese is a great item to pick up at rock-bottom prices and keep on hand. It keeps for weeks, unopened, and can be frozen. After freezing, it will be a little crumbly but still great for baking and cooking.
Sharp Cheddar Drop Biscuits
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 to 14 minutes
- Total Time: 20 to 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 biscuits 1x
- Category: breads & biscuits
- Cuisine: Southern
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces) (see note)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons dried chives (optional)
- 1 cup buttermilk (cold)
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons butter: 1 stick (8 tablespoons) melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), the 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) melted for brushing biscuits
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt (to taste)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. and place rack in the middle of the oven.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add in the cheese and chives and whisk again.
In a small bowl, combine cold buttermilk (or substitute) and stick (8 tablespoons) melted butter (butter cooled for about 5 minutes), stirring until butter forms small clumps.
Dump the buttermilk/butter mixture into dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Do not overmix. If the batter is too loose, fold in a little more flour.
Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amounts of batter and drop onto a baking sheet. Biscuits should measure about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches high. Space biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 8 to 14 minutes. When the top is touched they should have some give and spring back. Remove from pan immediately.
While biscuits are baking, mix remaining 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) melted butter with garlic salt, and parsley. Taste and adjust, adding more garlic salt and/or parsley if desired. Place in a warm spot on the back of the stove.
Brush biscuit tops with the butter mixture before removing from pan and let cool five minutes before serving.
- If a light flour is used, a little more flour (up to 1/4 cup) may be needed.
- If buttermilk isn’t available, powdered buttermilk added according to package instructions, or clabbered milk can be used instead. To make clabbered milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup and fill to the one cup line with milk. Let stand 10 minutes. Make sure it is cold when mixed with the melted butter.
- A 1/4-cup (#16) portion scoop can be used to portion the batter.
Keywords: Biscuits, Bread, Buttermilk, cheddar, Cheese
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