Saturday, April 27, 2013

Homage to Cheddar Bay

There they were in my email. A recent post by Brown Eyed Baker for Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits made at home, from scratch no less.

I rarely eat at Red Lobster, but even I know about the just-one-more-I-promise power of these appe-teasing biscuits.

And I rarely bake, thus limiting my desire to consume all manner of miraculous transformations of flour, sugar and fat. Life is just easier if the temptation is not there!

But sometimes ... it just has to be done. After a day of Pinterest probing and pinning and some long overdue email thinning, dinner was going to be a big bowl of boiled and chilled shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce and some large portabella mushrooms, stuffed with spontaneously chosen ingredients and baked. Then I saw these tempting biscuits from BEB and I had to join the legions of my fellow bloggers who have made them before me.

I liked the fact that BEB's Michelle took the time to create her biscuits from scratch, rather than using a packaged biscuit mix. The result is so light and tender and flaky and garlicky and cheesy and warm and  ... well, you get the picture. And, of course, I made a couple of minor tweaks of my own, out of necessity and being careful not to stray too far from the successful ratio of the BEB's wet-dry-fat formula.

Imagine my lack of surprise to find I had no buttermilk on hand. Therefore, I mixed up some 2% milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar -- and it worked fine. The garlic powder jar was no help either, but I did locate a jar of "granulated" garlic and subbed it in equal amounts -- and it worked fine too. For all I know, it is nothing more than garlic powder, but "granulated" gives it a bit more panache, don't you think. And I'm still trying to figure out why a woman without garlic powder or buttermilk would have a big bunch of fresh Italian parsley in the fridge -- but I did. So there!

My Favorite Husband at three biscuits! And they're nice sized at that! I, on the other hand, only ate one ... OK, two ... but only because I am making myself count WWP+ and I was afraid to see the point count for three biscuits. I was also afraid to see the total for two, but that did not occur to me until after the second one was history. Love the flexibility of WW and those weekly points to use at my discretion -- or in this case, indiscretion.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or powder)
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup, minus 1 tablespoon, cold milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Brush-on Topping:
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (or powder)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick baking mat.

In a large bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, kosher salt and granulated garlic. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.

Melt the 1/2 cup unsalted butter and cool for about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, stir together the cold milk and vinegar. Add the melted butter and stir until the butter begins to form small clumps.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and blend with a rubber spatula until all the dry ingredients are completely incorporated and just until the mixture forms into dough.

Use cooking spray or cooking oil to grease a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Scoop the dough with the cup and drop onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping about an inch between the balls of dough. Bake the biscuits about 12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

While the biscuits are baking, melt the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter for the topping. Add the chopped parsley and granulated garlic; stir until well blended.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush the tops immediately with the butter mixture. Allow the biscuits to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. You can store leftovers in an airtight container of zip bag for 2-3 days -- if they last that long!

Makes 10 (7pt+) biscuits, but could make 12 (6pt+), if using a smaller scoop.

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