Fresh Chive Cheese Drop Biscuits

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I couldn’t wait to get my hands in the dirt this week after our second delivery of herbs arrived from Kaiser Hill Farms. We have been working with Kaiser Hill for more than 10 years now and they are just terrific! Mark and Beth grow our custom herb selections in their greenhouses located in New Haven, Missouri. They are terrific herb growers and dog lovers so we hit it off from the very start!

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We have 40+ kinds of herbs in our greenhouse in Belleville which made it a little challenging to narrow down the choices for my first planter. Chives are a must have herb for me though! After a little herb inspiration, I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen to cook something with herbs.

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Our classroom staff made this recipe for Fresh Chive Cheese Drop Biscuits in a recent cooking class. It was an instant hit with men and women alike. As you might guess, the fellas did prefer the version with bacon. Even though we baked a few extra biscuits, there was not a crumb to be found by the end of class.

Since baking requires exacting techniques, Lana, our culinary instructor, shared hers with the students:

1.       Fluff your flour with a fork or spoon before measuring.
2.       Check the dates on your baking powder and baking soda to make sure they will produce           the desired leavening.
3.       Be sure to use cold butter.
4.       Don’t substitute anything else for the buttermilk.

 After the class Lana and I were discussing how versatile this recipe is! You can try it with many different herbs and experiment with your favorite cheese. I am sure we will be making this again soon for the classroom or in our home kitchens. Wouldn’t these be great for Easter Brunch??

Eat well this Spring,

Angie

 Fresh Chive Cheese Drop Biscuits

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (check expiration date)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (check expiration date)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon regular table salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) large-hole grated aged sharp cheddar cheese, slightly packed (For example: 1833 Barber's - England)
1/2 cup fresh onion or garlic chives, washed, patted dry and snipped
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk, well-shaken before measuring

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Cut in cold butter with pastry blender until mixture is like coarse meal.  (You may see tiny pieces of the butter).  Gently stir in cheese and chives.  Add buttermilk and stir until just combined, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Do not over stir.

Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined or greased shiny baking sheet.  Bake in middle of oven until golden brown about 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet to cool slightly before serving.  Serve hot with Amish butter and an Eckert's savory jam of choice.  You may need 2 baking sheets since these biscuits are so large.

Another herb combination:  1/2 cup fresh snipped dill fronds (no stems or seeds) and 3 slices cooked Eckert's bacon finely chopped; reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

Makes 12 (3 inch) biscuits.

Note:  Any biscuits remaining have the best taste and texture, when split in half and toasted.  Serve warm.  A smaller biscuit size can be made.  Baking time will be slightly reduced.