Biscuits rule, period. Sadly, I didn’t always know this. Yeah, it’s true. Even though I was born in the South and was raised by parents who spent most of their youth in the South, biscuits weren’t part of my childhood. This is mainly due to the fact that my mother was not much of a baker and, in general, my parents are not huge fans of Southern food. In fact, my first real introduction to biscuits was a random trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken—and from then on, I was hooked. Yes, I’ll proudly say that KFC has some pretty glorious biscuits. Everyday after tennis practice, on my way home, I’d go through the drive-thru and order two biscuits with honey and butter. It was heaven in a to-go bag.
These biscuits are also heaven, even though they’re nothing like KFC’s biscuits. I’ll even go so far to say that these are better–much better. Don’t believe me? Well, here are a few reasons why my biscuits stomp the KFC competition.
#1 All of the ingredients in my biscuits are pronounceable.
#2 These biscuits aren’t meal-specific. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even for a random snack, if you like. They’re like um…a unisex shirt, or a shirt that’s ‘size fits all.’ I love when stuff is like that.
#3 They have cheese in them. The end.
Verdict: I win!
Buttermilk Cheddar Jalapeño Biscuits
Recipe adapted by Barefoot Contessa
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 jalapeño, deseeded with membrane removed, chopped
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Maldon sea salt, optional
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.