June 7, 2010

Cheddar, Bacon & Onion Biscuits

I was heading down to the D.C. area this weekend for a summer birthday bash dinner. The menu involved lots of delicious pulled pork, barbecued chicken, grilled pineapple and romaine hearts... you get the picture. Anyway, I knew I wanted to bake something that would transport to another state without a fuss, wouldn't need refrigeration, and would match the theme of the food. Hence, cheddar and bacon biscuits! 

These huge nuggets of flaky, golden buttery goodness were truly delicious. Each biscuit was as large as my hand, which made them perfect for slicing in half and sandwiching with loads of piping hot, juicy pork. Craters of crusty, melted sharp cheddar cheese cushioned the hunks of smoky applewood bacon for a seriously savory combination that was rounded out by a mild hint of freshly chopped white onions. Drizzling the top of the biscuits with clover honey before serving added a really nice touch of sweet flavor, too.

These biscuits are pretty much fail proof. You can't really mess them up, even if you don't have a processor and need to mix the ingredients by hand. And, of course, the flavors in them can't be beat -- who doesn't love bacon and cheddar? Use extra-sharp for the cheese. This biscuit batter is mild flavored and moist, and it turns from regular biscuit to a special one when it's all enhanced by a strong, quality cheddar. 

All in all, these are truly a fabulous comfort food addition to any meal. But they certainly give enough reason to barbecue some ribs or slow simmer some pulled pork because, let's be honest, we all need a good excuse to eat these with the other fantastic comfort foods of summer.

Cheddar, Bacon & Onion Biscuits: 
6 thick-cut bacon slices
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 T. garlic powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing
2 cups (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
1/2 cup grated colby cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh white onion
1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk or homemade buttermilk
Honey  for drizzling

Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop. 

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, onion, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky). 

Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey.
Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com

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