Monday, December 3, 2012

Cheddar Bacon Biscuit Bites




Cheddar Bacon Biscuit Bites
Adapted from Southern Living

For the record, I'm no baker. But I found making, kneading, and baking these easy peesy. They wanted me to tell you they're delicious with cocktails before dinner. Or if you're good-God-fearing folk, they'll work as breakfast finger food. My husband wanted to state for the record they need jalapeƱos. Or more cayenne.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting your board)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
good pinch dried thyme (optional)
good pinch (or 2!) cayenne
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used salted butter, out of the fridge for 1/2 hour)
12 slices bacon (not thin cut), cooked and crumbled
1 heaping (really heaping) cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced onion or shallot
1/2 cup whole milk
Optional: chopped canned jalapeƱo, sundried tomatos, or whatever kinky stuff you're into

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, mustard powder, thyme, and cayenne. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening or flour until crumbly (should be in little pea sized lumps amongst the flour - fairly well interspersed amongst it.) Stir in bacon, cheese and onion and any other additions you fancy (see above.) Add milk, stirring just until moistened. 

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a few times until you've got a cohesive little baby dough - adding flour over the tops and your hands as needed to keep from sticking. This will be somewhat hellacious if your kitchen is hot, just FYI. Otherwise it should be a fairly - I'd even say fun experience.

Pat your rolling pin down with flour and roll into an 8x9 inch rectangle. (I cheat this by trimming off the uneven edges and using them as treats for the guests in the kitchen.) Cut into 1x3 inch rectangles for biscuit fingers or 1 1/2x1 1/2 inch squares for appetizer bites. A pizza cutter, rolled in flour, can make this task easier if you're not that precise (like me) with a knife.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes until they look 'set'. Fair warning - the tops won't get really brown but they will rise a bit and look kind of done if you're paying attention. Check them sooner than later - they bottoms will get brown and if they're in much longer than they should be - they'll turn black.

* Can be made ahead, cooled and frozen in plastic bags. Reheat at 350 just until warmed through.