Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Garlic & cheese biscuits

Last week, I celebrated my seventh Independence Day in the country we sought independence from. But, it’s hard to act too superior as none of my ancestors really had much to do with the conflict, and I much prefer the other traditions associated with the day that involve lots of food, a smoky grill and an afternoon baseball game (with the time difference, we can still watch it). I would happily include sparklers into my standard ex-pat 4th celebrations, but the ones in the shops are usually left over from Guy Fawkes Day (November 5), and little sparkle remains.

This year, we and four friends sat in our grassy backyard last Monday night and enjoyed hamburgers, potato wedges, quesadillas, chicken with barbecue sauce, cucumber salad, veggies with a homemade spinach dip and corn on the cob, followed by brownies, lemon squares and blueberry/strawberry crisp. Yes, it was a little much, but I often get carried away when there’s an opportunity to put on a good spread.

I also made garlic and cheese biscuits…though over here I suppose they’d be called savoury scones. They really weren’t needed in the end, but it was an experiment that went well, so I shall share it here.

(Makes 10-12 biscuits)

2 cups (250g) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (213g) butter, softened
teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup (about 85g) Emmental (swiss) cheese, grated
¾ cup (175ml) milk

  1. Heat oven to 450F/230C.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or by crumbling it into the dry ingredients (I prefer this way), until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. Stir in the garlic powder and cheese, and then add the milk. The mixture should be sticky, but leave the sides of the bowl – add a little more flour if necessary.
  4. Make each biscuit either by shaping a small amount of dough with your hands into a ½in (1.5cm) thick, 2in (5cm) diameter circle, or by using a cutter that’s about 2in (5cm) in diameter. With the latter, tip the dough onto a floured surface, and knead a few times. Roll or pat to about ½in (1.5cm) thick, and cut the biscuits.
  5. Place each biscuit onto an ungreased baking tray about 1in (2.5cm) apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes, then serve warm or remove them from the baking tray onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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