Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

I’m no fan of chain restaurants.  And I am happy to announce that I’ve NEVER eaten at a Red Lobster.  But any time Red Lobster surfaces in conversation, I’m always puzzled by the response that I universally hear from people who have eaten there.

“ZOMG, their cheddar biscuits are SO GOOD!”

It’s like Olive Garden with breadsticks.  And I think it’s a clear condemnation for a restaurant when the ONE THING people rave about is their bread.  Truth be told, fantabulous cheddar biscuits are the simplest thing in the world to make, and the ones from this recipe will outmatch Red Lobster’s any day of the week.

This recipe makes 2 dozen sizeable biscuits.  Halve the recipe if you’re not feeding a crowd, but I warn you…these don’t stick around for long.  And people will be fighting for ownership of the leftovers, if there are any.

In a big bowl, combine:

4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

Stir around with your fingers until well mixed.  Then add:

6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Toss with your fingers until the garlic and cheese are well scattered throughout the dry ingredients.  Then add:

2 1/4 cups buttermilk (substitute 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream plus 1 1/4 cups milk, or 2 1/4 cups milk plus 1 Tablespoon vinegar)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks, or 12 Tablespoons)

Stir with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients have been moistened.  The batter should be the consistency of cookie batter…too wet to knead, but if you drop a spoonful onto a plate, it will hold its shape.  Drop by 1/4 cup fulls onto a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment.  (I use an ice cream scoop with the squeezable handle, it makes perfect even shapes and keeps your hands from getting sticky.)

Bake on the center rack of a preheated 400F oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

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