Cheddar & Jalapeño Biscuits
Tangy cheddar cheese, a nice little jalapeño kick — these biscuits are delectable. We sliced the peppers and grated the cheese on the large holes of a box grater, so they don’t disappear into the buttery dough. It’s lovely to bite into those peppers. That approach also helps maintain the biscuit’s thin, flaky layers and large airy pockets. (Impressive, though we say it ourselves, for such a humble looking pastry.) Yet for all those admirable qualities, our favorite part of these biscuits might be their crispy bottoms, a gift from the hot skillet and the oven.
Speaking of baking: the biscuits only spend 15 minutes in the oven, but during that brief period they fill the air with a mouthwatering, cheesy, spicy aroma. In the test kitchen, the wafting biscuit perfume brought everyone to the table. Some people politely ate just one, the rest of us gleefully ate two (read: four). Hey, they’re small.
These biscuits are the stuff of grand Sunday brunches. They’re wonderful all by themselves or with a pat of salted butter, but we highly recommend serving them with a ladle or two of sausage gravy. If you have leftovers, fill them with scrambled eggs and ham, and take them on the morning commute.
Servings: 12 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter, divided (4 Tbsp cold and diced, 4 Tbsp melted)
1 cup buttermilk
1 jalapeño, sliced thin
1 cup Gelson’s sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Flake salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 450º.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and kosher salt and pulse until mixed.
Add the cold, diced butter and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the buttermilk, jalapeño and cheddar cheese. The dough will be a bit sticky but workable.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and form it into ½-inch thick rectangle.
Fold the left side into the center, and then fold the right side over it. Gently pat it down until it’s a ½-inch thick again, and then repeat the folds.
Pat the dough down a final time, until it’s ½-inch thick again. Using a lightly floured ring mold or circular cookie cutter, cut the dough into biscuits. Be careful not to twist the cutter while cutting — just press straight down, and then twist to release. Gather any leftover dough together and cut out the remaining biscuits.
Lightly spray a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray, and arrange the biscuits in the pan so they are just touching on all sides. Bake for 10 minutes.
Brush the biscuits with the melted butter and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes .
Sprinkle with flake salt and serve warm. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.