Southern Comfort: Cheese Biscuits

Growing up in Virginia, I ate my share of biscuits, but never took seconds unless they contained cheese. My New England friends can’t quite cotton to a salty, savory combination of cheese, flour, and butter. They expect my homemade version to be similar to the doughy, garlicky Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Introduced in 1992, these biscuits became so popular that the company now makes a mix (just add cheddar, water and butter!) For the 25th anniversary of the biscuits, Red Lobster even introduced a limited-edition, biscuit-flavored lip balm.

Both of my grandmothers passed down their recipes for their cheese biscuits, which are more like wafers than the fluffy biscuits you split in half and serve with butter. In need of comfort right now (aren’t we all), I made a batch from ingredients that I had on hand. They go well with beef stew – if you don’t eat them all first.

Grandma Bertie’s Cheese Biscuits (1920s)

Makes about 16 biscuits

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 pound (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

  1. Mix cheese, butter, salt, and cayenne pepper well.
  2. Add the flour and stir until well combined.
  3. Shape the batter into a roll approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the dough into thin wafers. Place a pecan half on top of each one.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese browns and the biscuits are crisp.

About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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