The first time I saw North Carolina Cheese Biscuits on Cook's Country's PBS show, I thought - Wow, do they look incredible!
Now I'm wishing I'd made them a lot sooner.
Big, fluffy biscuits with a melty, cheesy middle. And don't forget the melted butter slathered on the golden brown top.
What Makes These Biscuits So Good?
First of all you use cold butter that's pulsed in a food processor along with a flour mixture. This distributes the butter perfectly so it will create tender, buttery pockets throughout.
Then there's a little more butter in the buttermilk, which blends with the flour/butter mixture to make a perfect, almost sticky dough.
And don't forget the butter slathered on top before and after baking to get that perfect golden brown color.
So the answer is....butter!
Cook's Country states the dough is very wet and sticky, but I didn't find that true with mine.
I lightly floured my hands to create the round biscuit circles and the dough was very easy to handle.
After you split the dough into six portions, you flatten each portion out and stuff a giant ball of cheddar cheese into the circle. Wrap the dough around it, pinch the bottom together and place seam-side down in the pan.
When I heard about the North Carolina Cheese Biscuits, I figured they were regular old biscuits with grated cheese incorporated into the dough.
These, though, have that great middle of melted cheese instead, surrounded by the thick, tender, perfectly baked biscuit.
I've never had much luck making homemade biscuits, but these are incredible! I'll make these with the cheese, but also without because they're so good.
Be gentle with the dough when you're stirring it together. The less you mess with it, the better the final biscuit.
If you don't have a food processor, pulse the flour/butter mixture in your blender for a similar result.
Keep a watch on them while they're baking and pull them out when the tops are golden brown. At the high temperature, the bottoms have a tendency to get very browned, almost burned.
If you're concerned about the bottoms over-browning, I found that turning down the temperature to 425° helped avoid that. Also remember to use a light-colored pan to get less-brown bottoms.
This is now my favorite biscuit recipe! Fairly easy to throw together with a marvelous, delicious result.
Another great biscuit on my site that you may want to take a look at is Blueberry Lemon Drop Biscuits. They're terrific!
- 8 oz. sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 Cups)
- 3 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon butter, cut into ¼" pieces, plus 3 tablespoon melted
- 1 ½ C buttermilk
1. Heat oven to 500°. Grease or spray a light-colored 9" round cake pan. Take ⅓ cup of the shredded cheese and form into a tight, firm ball. Repeat with the rest of the cheese (equals 6 cheese balls).
2. Pulse 2 ½ cups of the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor (or blender) until combined, about 6 pulses. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 8 to 10 pulses.
3. Transfer the flour/butter mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined (Dough will be slightly sticky and a little lumpy).
4. Spread the remaining ½ cup of flour onto a rimmed baking sheet. Using a sprayed ½ cup dry measuring cup, transfer 6 portions of dough to the prepared sheet. Dust the top of each with a little flour from the sheet.
5. Lightly flour your hands and gently flatten 1 portion of dough into a 3 ½" circle. Pick up the dough circle and place 1 cheese ball in the center. Gently pull the edges of the dough over the cheese to enclose, then pinch together the seams. Shake off any excess flour and transfer to the prepared cake pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese, placing 5 biscuits around the edge of pan and one in the center. (They'll spread a bit on baking.)
6. Brush the biscuit tops with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450°. Continue to bake until biscuits are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let the biscuits cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then invert onto a plate. Break the biscuits apart and turn right-side up. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the leftover 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm.
The original recipe had ½ cup more flour to spread on the baking sheet, but I ended up throwing quite a bit of it away, so I pared it down to only ½ cup.
These are best the first day and served warm. Refrigerate leftovers. (The next day I split the biscuits, took out the cheese, then warmed the biscuit up for about 15-20 seconds, added a little butter and jam - awesome!)
I lowered the temperature to 425° after about 12 minutes because the bottoms were starting to get too brown. Then I baked for about 5 more minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 biscuit
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1162mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g
Nutrition Values are Approximate