So, I threw these together for dinner tonight. I had no idea if they’d turn out or not, but I had sour milk that I needed to use so I wanted to make some sort of buttermilk drop biscuit sort of thing. I kept adding stuff – cheese, garlic, butter – and before I knew it I’d ended up with this:
And you know what that looks like, right? I mean, the first thing that comes to mind – at least my mind – is those Cheddar Bay Biscuit thingees that they serve at Red Lobster. It’s not just me, right? That’s totally what they look like!
So, that was exciting. But looks are one thing. Taste is another.
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a Red Lobster, so I don’t have a side-by-side comparison for you. But I swear, if these don’t taste exactly like Cheddar Bay Biscuits, then they’re AWFULLY close! Even the texture is right on. They’re soft and tender, not at all crumbly or hard. This picture gives something of an idea of what the texture’s like.
Every copycat recipe I’ve seen for Cheddar Bay Biscuits calls for Bisquick as the main ingredient. Now, not only is Bisquick made with white flour, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (i.e. transfats) and dextrose (i.e. sugar). So using Bisquick is out of the question.
Luckily for YOU, I came up with this instead!
All it is is a basic drop biscuit, with cheddar cheese added in and topped with garlic basil butter. Easy peasy.
In a large bowl combine whole grain spelt, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add in some grated cheddar cheese and stir it in, breaking up any clumps until it’s evenly distributed.
Now’s the time to add the fat. I finally found some palm shortening, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while, so I figured this was the perfect recipe for it! It functions exactly like regular shortening in a recipe, so it’s an easy substitute. It took me a long time to find it because I was tricked by the packaging.
It just says vegetable shortening, which is really confusing. For the longest time I thought it was regular shortening…just organic! But when you read the side you realize that it’s actually made with palm (coconut) oil, so if you’re looking for palm shortening, this is it. It just has a confusing label.
If you can’t find palm shortening, though, I’m pretty sure this recipe will work just as well with butter or lard instead. I haven’t tested that out so I can’t say for absolute sure what the texture is like, but I know it won’t flop. I just don’t know if it’ll be exactly like these were. Give it a try though if you want and I’m sure it’ll be fine! (But if you can find palm shortening…use that!)
Measure it in and cut it in with a pastry cutter.
Until it forms crumbs the size of small peas.
Measure out the sour milk, if you happen to have milk that’s soured. If you don’t, you can add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to whole milk and let it sit for 10 minutes, and that will make soured milk. Add the beaten egg to the milk and mix together, then pour it all into the dry ingredients.
Stir it all together well. I’ve read that different almond flours absorb liquid differently, so you’ll have to use your judgement here depending on what brand you use!! You want a batter that’s firm enough to hold its shape when spooned out, but not stiff. It should still be easily stirred, just firm. The picture hopefully shows what to look for. If it’s too liquidy add more almond flour, if it’s too stiff then add more milk.
Use two large spoons to spoon out about 1/4 cup at a time onto a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 425 for 12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.
While the biscuits are cooking, put some butter, minced garlic, and chopped basil leaves into a small pot. Heat until the butter begins to bubble, then stir and let sit until you need it. You might be tempted to do this in the microwave, but the butter gets much more of the garlic/basil flavor if you do it on the stove!
When the biscuits are done, immediately brush the tops with the garlic basil butter. Make sure to get bits of the garlic and basil on each biscuit.
Then serve them to your friends and family and wow them with your culinary skills. Because these things aren’t only as good as Cheddar Bay Biscuits: they’re even better. (At least that’s what my kids told me…!)
NOTE: I use almond meal instead of almond flour because it’s cheaper, but that might make a big difference in a recipe like this where liquid absorption is a big deal. If you use almond flour you might want to start with less than is called for in the recipe and add more a bit at a time until you get to the right consistency.
- 1¾ cups whole grain spelt
- 1¼ cups almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
- ¾ cups palm shortening (lard or butter could be substituted, but I haven't tested it)
- 1½ cups sour milk (add 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to whole milk and let it sit for 10 minutes if you don't have sour milk on hand)
- 1 beaten egg
- 5 tsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 basil leaves, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Combine the spelt, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Shred the cheddar cheese and mix into the dry ingredients, separating any clumps so that it's evenly distributed.
- Measure in the palm shortening, and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it into the dry ingredients until it looks crumbly.
- Combine the milk and beaten egg, and then pour them into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- (The batter should be firm enough to hold its shape when spooned out, but not too stiff or dry. Different almond flours absorb liquid differently, so add more milk or almond meal as necessary to get the right consistency.)
- Use two large spoons to spoon out about ¼ cup of the batter at a time onto a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking tray. Place the spoonfuls about an inch apart.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden.
- While they're baking, combine the butter, garlic, and basil in a small saucepan and heat until the butter starts to bubble. Stir, and let sit until the biscuits are done.
- When the biscuits are done, remove from the oven and immediately brush on the garlic basil butter, making sure to get bits of the garlic and basil on each biscuit.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, or can be individually frozen for longer storage. Leftovers taste best when heated up!
Part of Real Food Wednesday