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.
Biscuits are a pretty basic thing, so I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out a recipe for them. I think I was assuming that using all whole-grain flour in a biscuit wouldn’t taste good. Or something?
Well, boy was I wrong. Like, totally and utterly wrong. Because yesterday I didn’t have anything readily on hand for lunch, and it’s freezing here and smoothies just don’t cut it on these frigid days, so I decided to experiment with biscuits. And the results were absolutely out of this world.
These babies are light and airy, flaky and tender, and have a surprisingly mild flavor. With all the cream and butter, they’re kind of a cross between a biscuit and a cream scone – which really is no bad thing!! Top them with some pasture butter blended with raw honey and maple syrup and they’re absolutely delectable! We each scarfed down three of these, and today the kids asked if I could make them again for lunch.
Okay. Cornmeal. Is it inflammatory, or isn’t it? It’s listed on some lists as a grain to stay away from, and is on other lists as safe since it’s a whole grain. So what’s the story?
I have no idea. It’s kind of confusing, so I decided to go with my trusty old “how do I feel when I eat it?” test. All I can say is that, for me, it doesn’t seem to be any problem at all. So I’m putting it back on my safe list!
Which is a really good thing, because we love cornbread in our house. There’s nothing better than a bowl of my favorite chili or a dish of my BBQ baked beans, cooking all day long in the crock pot, and then accompanied with a hot batch of cornbread fresh from the oven. Mmmmm!
The cornbread I make now is a little different from what I used to make, of course. Instead of white flour, I use whole grain spelt. Instead of sugar, I use honey. And it works great! Since we always liked honey on top of cornbread anyway, the flavor of the honey as the sweetener works really well. If you don’t like or don’t want a sweet cornbread, you can always just leave the honey out!
I also make sure to buy only stone ground, organic cornmeal, because of the problem with the majority of cornmeal being GMO. The best sources around me for this are my health food store, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. (they don’t have organic cornmeal at my regular grocery store.) So you might have to look around.
This cornbread is slightly sweet, and crunchy on the edges but moist and tender on the inside. Just the way I like it! Perfect.
In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, spelt flour, baking powder, and salt. (It’s best to use aluminum-free baking powder since there’s a lot of it in this recipe; beyond it being healthier anyway, it will avoid the strange metallic aftertaste that often comes with baking powder.)
Melt the butter, and then mix in the honey. You can use more or less honey as you like – whatever you like as far as sweetness in your cornbread.
Pour the butter/honey in with the dry ingredients, along with 2 beaten eggs and milk, and mix until combined.
Grease an 8×8 pan with butter or coconut oil, and pour in the batter. If you double the recipe I suggest using two 8×8 pans rather than a larger 9×13 pan, because the crunchy edge pieces are the best part!
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the center bounces back when you press it with your finger.
Serve it up!
Preferably with plenty of sweet grass-fed butter! Yum……
This garlic bread is something I’ve made for years, and is something always received with much rejoicing in our household. Behold! Mother has made garlic bread! Huzzah, huzzah! (Or something like that.)
My homemade garlic bread is – if I may boast – really good. Everyone scarfs it down when I make it. And it’s so simple, but people just don’t realize they can do it themselves! Sometimes people try to make garlic bread with garlic salt or powder, but that’s icky, if you ask me. The key to really good garlic bread is (quite obviously, really) using REAL GARLIC.
The only hard thing about this (now), is finding bread to use.
(I’ve been making this bread almost weekly for the past year and a half, so by now I have a really good handle about how to make it consistently good every time. So I wanted to update this post with those changes, and new pictures showing how I do it now. Normally if I need to update a post, I’ll just add a little note and say that it’s an edit, leaving the original intact. But since I have a completely different method now, I need to replace all the pictures, so I’m basically just going to end up rewriting the whole post. So if you’re used to the old post and wonder why it’s different now, that’s why!)
I’ve been eating this bread pretty much every day for breakfast. It satisfies that early morning sweet craving, and when topped with homemade chocolate almond (or peanut) butter, it has a lot of staying power! It easily carries me through to lunch. It’s not as sweet as my old sugar-laden recipe was, but it’s has a nutty, mildly sweet flavor that satisfies me perfectly fine. I hope it does you as well.
One of the things that gives this bread great flavor is the browned butter. It deepens it and gives a slight toffee smell and taste that’s wonderful! It’s not hard at all to brown butter, but if it intimidates you, you can always use just regular softened butter – it’ll still turn out fine. It just won’t have quite as much flavor.
Just get 1/2 cup of butter in a pan and turn on the heat to medium high.
If you look closely at the picture, you can see the white solids of the butter sinking to the bottom while the clarified oils rise to the top. Those white solids are the part that’s going to brown.
I have a gas stove, so I usually just pick up the pan and kind of swirl it around over the flame to keep it moving. You, of course, can just use a spoon for that if you’d rather!
After a minute or so, it’ll probably start to foam up like this.
That’s okay! Don’t freak! Just keep it moving until you start to notice some dark brown liquid bubbling up through the foam.
That’s the browned butter solids. Turn off the heat. The bubbling will immediately settle down. And it should smell wonderful and nutty and caramelly.
Pour it into a mixing bowl to speed up the cooling process.
I typically plan ahead of time when I’m going to make this, so I’ll brown the butter at night so that it’s the consistency of softened butter in the morning. If you’re in a hurry, though, you can stick it in the fridge for a bit. Just make sure to take it out before it gets too hard! When it’s ready it should look like this.
While you’re waiting for your butter to solidify, soften your dates. Get about 15 large dates, pitting them if necessary, and put them in a heat safe bowl.
Pour boiling water over top to cover them.
How hard your dates are when you start out will determine how long they need to soak. Mine generally only need about 10 minutes, but you should leave them until they’re mushy soft.
When they’re soft, take them in your hands and sort of squeeze the excess liquid out of them, then put them in your food processor.
Pulse a few times to get them going. They’ll probably end up going to the outside of the container because there’s not enough liquid in there. I used to add some of the soaking liquid, but I found that this could make the bread soggy sometimes. So now I add in the eggs instead! It serves the purpose of adding liquid to get the dates pureed, but it’s liquid that’s already in the recipe so you’re not messing with the liquid to dry ratio at all.
Process, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the dates are completely pureed with the eggs. It’ll look like this.
Take three VERY ripe bananas, peel them, and mash them up with a fork. I used to put them in the food processor with the dates, but I found that the consistency of the bread is much nicer when they’re more roughly mashed this way.
Now scrape the mashed bananas and the date/egg puree in with your browned butter and mix it up.
I also add in two droppers full of liquid Stevia (about 30 drops) to boost the sweetness. This is the brand I use, and I’ve really loved it. It doesn’t taste nearly as strange and bitter as the kinds I’d used before, and it’s pure – no additives – and organic. If you use a different brand, I don’t know if this same amount will work or not. If you’d rather not use Stevia but still want to boost the sweetness you can add some honey or palm sugar – but then you’ll have to think more carefully about eating it.
Add in the dry ingredients: whole grain spelt, almond or cashew meal, baking soda, and salt. I now use more baking soda than my original recipe called for, as I’ve found that it needs a little extra boost to rise well. Also, I always use almond or cashew MEAL as opposed to flour, so if you use flour instead the amount might be different – I don’t know because I’ve never tried. I’d suggest starting with less and seeing how the consistency is, then adding more as you feel you need!
I love a little texture to my food, so I like to add chopped pecans and cacao nibs to the batter. I think it’s delicious! You can just leave these out if you’d rather, though.
Mix it all up until it forms a moderately thick batter.
Spread it into a large loaf pan that’s been greased with coconut oil, butter, or palm shortening.
Bake at 350 for 75 minutes.
Let it cool for about 15 minutes, then slide a knife around the edge and turn it out. Cut a piece for yourself while it’s still crusty and hot and wonderful!
Be sure to smother it with nice grass-fed butter.
And top it with chocolate nut butter and wash it all down with a glass of farm fresh raw milk if you really want to fill yourself up! This is pretty much what I have for breakfast most days. I like to put a slice in the toaster oven to crisp and warm it a bit first. It’s quick and easy and yummy, so it’s my perfect kind of breakfast!
Now, as I said, this bread isn’t as overwhelmingly sweet as banana bread that has sugar in it, but it is definitely sweet enough. Or at least it is for me (especially with the chocolate peanut butter on top!) If you want it sweeter, you can always add palm sugar or honey for some of the dates but then you won’t be able to eat it as liberally. I love the fact that I can eat as much of this as I want, so I’m fine with the mild sweetness of it for that reason!
Enjoy as breakfast, a snack, or even – with some whipped cream or fruit – dessert!
Note: I use almond (or cashew) meal, not flour - so if you use flour the amount might be different. Start with a smaller amount and add more until it looks to be the right consistency - then make a note of how much you used for future reference. Also, if you prefer not to use Stevia, you can leave it out and it just won't be as sweet, or you can use ¼ cup of honey or palm sugar instead.
½ cup butter
15 large dates, pitted
3 very ripe large bananas, mashed with a fork
2 droppers full (about 30 drops) of liquid Stevia (I use Trader Joe's organic brand)
¾ cup whole grain spelt
¾ cup almond meal or cashew meal
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
(optional) handful of chopped pecans
(optional) handful of cacao nibs
Heat the oven to 350 and grease a large loaf pan with butter, coconut oil, or palm shortening.
Brown the butter. Put the butter in pan over medium high heat. You'll see white butter solids on the bottom of the pan as it melts - that's what will brown. After a minute or so it'll start to really foam. Keep stirring until you see brown come bubbling up through the foam from the bottom. Remove from heat. It should be a dark brown and smell nutty and caramelly, but not burned.
Pour the browned butter into a mixing bowl and let it come to the consistency of softened butter. You can stick it in the fridge for a bit if you want to speed it up.
While you're waiting for your butter to solidify, start softening your dates. Put them in a heat-safe bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes, or until they're very soft and almost mushy.
After the dates are soft, remove them from the bowl with your hands, squeezing out the excess liquid. Put them in your food processor.
Pulse them a few times to get them started, and then crack the two eggs into the food processor to add some liquid and let them puree better. Process the dates and eggs together until completely pureed.
Scrape the egg/date puree and the mashed bananas into the bowl with the browned butter. Add in the liquid stevia or other sweetener if using.
Add in the dry ingredients: the spelt, nut meal, baking soda, salt, and pecans and cacao nibs. Mix thoroughly.
Spread into the greased loaf pan.
Bake for 75 minutes, or until the center springs back when pressed with your finger.