Sometimes the way to change up a dinner is just by adding a simple side dish. Trying to survive the erratic schedule of two children involved in baseball season and still manage to sit down to a meal is easier said than done. I tend to revert back to those quick fix family favorite dinners that we all know and love. As a restless cook that tends to suck all the fun out of my creative outlet – playing with my food. So to keep engaged I’ve taken the path of adding in a little something new to each meal that can be prepared ahead of time. Sometimes it is a side dish or a dessert. This week it was the addition of biscuits. Not just any ‘ole biscuits, Cream Cheese Biscuits! Slathered with butter and served slightly warm these biscuits were the stand-out new element to my grandmother’s delicious, yet very familiar, breaded chicken meal.
I had heard that cream cheese made the lightest fluffiest biscuits ever. And to be honest I’ve never met a biscuit that I didn’t like so I happily tackled the challenge. By swapping out cream cheese for butter I found the biscuit produced was moist, very fluffy and soft. That said, the use of two types of flours definitely keeps these biscuits on the lighter side. Because the cream cheese substitution has more water in it than a traditional stick of butter this dough sets up with the glutens differently. Best way to combat the difference – avoid over kneading and rolling. So spend less time preparing this treat and still have delicious biscuits!
I tend to like a big biscuit so I opted to make them in a larger hearty farm style portion and the recipe only yielded 9. However, these could be cut smaller and easily serve 12.
Cream Cheese Biscuits
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup plus 1 TBS buttermilk* (if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, substitution provided below)
Cut cream cheese into ½ inch pieces and freeze for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor combine all ingredients EXCEPT the buttermilk and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in buttermilk until combined. Do not worry if mixture appears slightly dry.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed briefly until dough sticks together. Roll dough into a 8×6-inch rectangle that is about ¾-inch thick. Cut into evenly sized squares and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cook for 5 minutes and serve warm.
To make buttermilk, substitute 1 TBS of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the 1 cup line. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. This makes more buttermilk than is needed for this recipe.
Unbaked biscuits on prepared baking sheet can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated one day ahead of time. To finish heat oven to 450 degrees and bake as directed.