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Cheese Drop Buttermilk Biscuits

I just got back from Texas, which means plenty of barbecue – the real thing, with brisket and pulled pork and beans on the side. It made me crave cornbread, baked in a cast iron skillet and cut into wedges, and biscuits – big, cheesy ones. The kind you could add chopped jalapeño peppers to, or crumbled bacon or ham, or chives or green onions. The kind you want to tear open warm and let the steam escape before taking a bite, or slathering it with sloppy Joe beef or pulled pork. The kind that is equally fitting rewarmed in the morning, with coffee, for breakfast. Crunchy on the outside, soft within.

The good news is, with drop biscuits you don’t have as much pressure to get the dough just right, or to roll and pat and cut and reroll scraps (not that there’s anything wrong with that) – you just drop big spoonfuls of dough onto the sheet and bake. Beautiful.

Cheese Drop Buttermilk Biscuits

Adapted from Bon Appétit, June 2009; from Picnic in Houston, Texas.

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated old cheddar cheese
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Using on/off turns, mix next 4 ingredients in processor. Add 1/2 cup cubed chilled butter. Using on/off turns, process until coarse meal forms. Transfer to large bowl. Add cheese; toss to combine. Add buttermilk and stir just to blend (batter will be sticky). Divide among prepared muffin cups, about 1/2 cup for each.
Bake biscuits until golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush tops with remaining melted butter. Cool 5 to 10 minutes, then remove biscuits from pan and transfer to rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

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