Well y’all, it’s finally winter in Texas. By “winter” I of course mean that the temperature dropped below 50 degrees, the wind picked up, and all the native Southerners donned their thickest, most dramatic floor-length puffer coats for the 10-foot walk from their parking garage to their office building (myself included). There’s just something about that chilly air that makes me want to eat warm, delicious, comforting food. I know I’m not the only one. This weekend I whipped up a batch of jalapeño-cheddar biscuits and boy, howdy. They were darn delicious. And because I am nothing if not abundantly generous, I will share the recipe so you can make them yourself instead of coming over to eat mine.
Full disclosure: this is actually my own personal adaptation from Ina Garten’s stupid easy and stupid delicious chive biscuits. You probably should just go ahead and make both hers and mine because I’ve had them both, and trust me – everyone deserves the kind of immense happiness that can only come from carbohydrate-laden culinary nirvana.
Here’s The Stuff You Need
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar (I don’t trust sugar in my savory items, so I halved this. so…I guess just 1/2 teaspoon, then.)
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup fresh seeded and chopped jalapeños – about 2 peppers
1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese – I used extra sharp because I like to party
1 egg mixed with a splash of water, for the egg wash Ina Garten swears we need to include
Here’s What To Do With That Stuff
First: get to choppin’ and gratin’ yo jalapeños and cheese. Then, mix together your flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a big bowl. Ina Garten says to put it in the bowl of your fancy electric stand mixer but those are a lot of dollars and I’d honestly rather buy tacos. Moral of the long-winded story: any large bowl and your average, cost-effective electric hand mixer will do the trick.
OH and before I forget, you should probably preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Yes. That would be wise.
Next, cut up your stick of butter into small little cubes. This is where the cold part comes into play, the colder the butter the easier this is. And it’s still kind of a pain in the butt, but believe me it’s worth it. As Julia Child would say, “more butter!” Amen.
After this, add the butter into the dry mixture and mix together on low speed until the butter is broken down to around the size of peas. This will be tricky, because the cold butter will not want to mix with the flour. But you are the master of the snobby, separatist butter. Just chase the little suckers down with your beaters and show ‘em what’s up.
Now is the part where things start to get fun and this crap in a bowl starts to look like actual dough. Pour in your half-and-half, then add the chopped jalapeños and grated cheddar. Try not to dive face-first into the bowl. (Because that’s not safe, you could chip a tooth. If anything, you want to lead with your feet so you land safely. Obviously.)
If you’re anything like me, around this point you will start to think, “Dang that sure doesn’t look very dough-y. In fact, it really looks more like a bunch of inedible clumps. Should I….touch it?” Yes. Yes you should touch it. But not sexually, this is not American Pie. This is cooking with The Wife in Training, and I may be weird but I am not quite *that* weird thank you very much. Where was I? Oh yes. Non-sexual touching of the dough.
Get your hands all up in there and make it look like actual dough. Then you’re supposed to flatten it out on a lightly floured surface but that sounded like a lot of work and I’m really lazy, so I chose to recycle my previously-used cutting board (which I later threw swiftly into the dishwasher without so much as a second thought) as a working surface.
Also if you’re anything like me, you will realize that you don’t have a dough-cutting utensil and be forced to improvise with a whiskey tumbler. Meh. It happens.
You’re almost done! Now they’re going to really start to look like biscuits! And you’re that much closer to getting to eat them! Hooray! Okay, that was way too many exclamation marks. I apologize.
Pick up your handy dandy whiskey tumbler (it should be about 2.5 inches in diameter) and start cutting out delicious, buttery, savory, cheesy, wonderful biscuits. Place them one by one onto a cookie sheet that you’ve either sprayed really thoroughly with non-stick spray, or lined with parchment paper. I opt for parchment paper because like I said earlier, I’m lazy, and this way I don’t have to actually wash the cookie sheet afterwards. Don’t judge me.
You’ll get to a point where all you have left is the outlined dough scraps of where you cut the biscuits – just roll the remaining dough back up into a ball, knead it out flat and then cut out your final few biscuits.
Now take your egg wash combo (one egg plus one splash of water, mixed together) and brush it over the surface of your biscuits. Don’t ask me why, I just do what Ina Garten tells me to. Be sure to pause this process to take several close-ups with your iPhone. This in no way affects the flavor, but it’s an important step nonetheless.
YAY! Now they’re ready to bake and you are only 20-22 minutes away from
singlehandedly devouring them all in one sitting gracefully sampling one, and responsibly saving the rest for later.
Now pop those babies into your 400 degree oven for 20-22 minutes and thank me later.
There you have it. Your very own batch of jalapeño-cheddar biscuits. You are so welcome.
P.S. – I am super excited to announce that on Thursday I’ll be linking up with some amazing, talented, awesome fellow blogger-type people who also happen to be writing books. Don’t miss it! I mean… Please come back. I need you. Please.
—The Wife in Training