Tuesday, April 30, 2013

cream cheese biscuits

"Square is the new round."  

This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen and has completely done away with the problem of over-handling/over-kneading biscuits by suggesting to cut them in squares.  

What!?!?!  Why didn't I ever think of that?  I'm telling you... it's the smartest thing I've seen in a long time.  Ingenious.

Now, I know to traditionalists it might take a while to accept a square biscuit.  But to those of us who just want a tender and great-tasting result, it's life-changing!  All three of the boys gobbled these up with no trouble at all.  They are full of flavor, and have a rustic flair.  Right up my alley.  And I think they might be my biscuits of choice for the time being.

If you are unfamiliar with America's Test Kitchen, do a little research.  They have perfected recipes from a scientific perspective, understanding the chemistry of food and altering recipes accordingly.  They've made all the mistakes so we don't have to!

I highly suggest you grab your favorite jar of jam or honey bear and bake up a basket of these biscuits.  Mark my words.  It's hip - and delicious - to be square!

Cream Cheese Biscuits - makes 12 biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. buttermilk
~ Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. 
~ Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
~ Pulse all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cream cheese,
    and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Transfer to a large
~ Stir in buttermilk until combined (dough may appear slightly dry).
~ Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough comes together
~ Roll dough into 8 by 6-inch rectangle, about 3/4 inch thick.
~ Cut into twelve 2-inch squares and transfer to prepared baking sheet.  
~ Bake until light brown, 12-15 minutes.
~ Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

Tips and Tricks:
When kneading, dough will be crumbly.  Don't let this scare you.  Just bring together and roll out to cut.  The "crumbs" are actually the "pieces" of butter and cream cheese that will melt throughout the dough.  It works beautifully.

To make ahead, unbaked cut biscuits can be refrigerated on baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 day.  To finish, heat oven to 450 degrees and bake as directed.