cheddar and cornmeal biscuits

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Is there some miraculous law of physics that explains how dirty dishes in kitchens seem to constantly multiply? It’s like in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part II when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in the vault at Gringotts, and the cups spontaneously start multiplying, growing until the trio nearly becomes buried in them. I have been cooking up a storm the last few days, and consequently, Justin and I have loaded and unloaded the dishwasher multiple times, but somehow it’s barely made a dent. And now I feel the dishes and I are having a standoff. So far, I’m winning. Though every time I walk into the kitchen, I feel them staring me down. I just want to section off the room with yellow tape, but the kitchen is one room that’s hard to avoid. So I suggested to Justin the only logical solution: the kitchen is uninhabitable and we need to move. He didn’t seem keen on the idea. Maybe cleaning is a small price to pay for awesome deliciousness.

These biscuits certainly fit that description. This recipe came from a cookbook my best friend gave me last year when I got married called, The Newlywed Cookbook. Everything I’ve made out of it has been excellent. These biscuits are reminiscent of the delicious cheesy biscuits served at Red Lobster.  To cut the biscuits, you can use a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass. You could add ham or bacon to these to make a scrumptious breakfast sandwich. These biscuits also pair well with savory spreads like butter and tomato jam. I would not, however, recommend combining these with fruit jams (as I did in the photo) as the sweet jam tends to overwhelm the cheese, and nothing should ever overwhelm cheese. Happy baking!

I have traditionally used forks to mix in cold butter, but for this recipe, I found using my hands to mix the flour was much easier. The batter should look crumbly like this.

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Cutting out the biscuits with a drinking glass.

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Brushing the biscuits with a beaten egg.

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Voila! The final product! Bon Appetit!

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Serves: 10-11 biscuits

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash cayenne pepper

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, plus more for spreading

3/4 cup half and half

1 large egg

coarse sea salt

10 thin slices of ham (optional)

1 bunch arugula, torn (optional)

Directions:

Whisk plain flour, cornmeal, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Stir in half of the grated Cheddar.

Cut the cold butter into pieces and mix in the butter with your hands, combining them until the batter resembles little crumbly pieces. Add the remaining butter and continue to mix together. Add the remaining Cheddar and toss together with a spoon or fork.

Add the half and half and mix with a fork until the dough holds together. Put in the fridge for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit.

After 25 minutes,  fold the dough over itself twice, then roll it out with your hands so the dough is 3/4-inch thick. Cut the biscuits using a 2-inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Combine the dough scraps together and repeat. You should get 10-11 biscuits from the batter.

Transfer the biscuit rounds to the prepared baking sheet and brush generously with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tops. Bake until evenly golden around the edges, about 18 minutes. Remove and cool.

 

Adapted from The Newlywed Cookbook.

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