Last weekend, I made cheesy garlic biscuits. I didn’t start out my day thinking I would make biscuits. I actually got it into my head that I wanted to make scones. I’m not really sure why I wanted to do this. I’ve never made scones in my life. I’m not a huge fan of scones in general. But for some reason, I thought I should make them.
The weather was lousy… what can I say?
Whenever I’ve never made something before, I pull out my trusty Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook. I’ve had it for eons and eons and it’s battered, stained and has notes written all over it. It’s a great place to start from and then tinker. The recipes just always work. Also, it’s spiral bound so it lies flat on the counter, no matter which page I’m on. I’m not gonna lie – this is a huge bonus in a cookbook. If I ever write a cookbook (which I won’t), it will be in my contract that it must be spiral bound. I wish my Joy of Cooking was spiral bound…
Ok, so anyway, moving on. I was quite exited about this endeavor and got out all my ingredients and had a lot of fun shooting them… as you can see:
The recipe was pretty straight forward. It called for raisins instead of blueberries but I have a lot of blueberries in the freezer and blueberries and lemon go nicely together so I figured that was a good substitution. I also decided to toast some coconut to sprinkle on top of the scones while cooking. All sounding quite excellent, no?
And then everything… and I mean everything went wrong.
I put a very small batch of coconut in the oven – much less than I usually toast. For two minutes.
I checked it at 1:30… it looked great… almost there. 1:50 I could smell coconut – but not in a good way. The entire batch was burned to a crisp.
I started over with the coconut.
And then things went smoothly until I added the frozen blueberries to the dough and realized… I had to knead the dough.
Well that turned into a giant, sticky, purple mess with blueberries popping everywhere. There was no rolling this dough – it was getting patted down into a circle instead.
Ok, at this point, it didn’t look too bad and I was thinking “ok, I’ll just have purple scones – but they’ll taste good!” So I popped them into the oven.
The directions said to bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. So I checked at 10 minutes. Something wasn’t right. They looked like they had a ways to go yet and they weren’t rising. But, my oven is a bit slow so I put the timer on for 5 more minutes.
Came back… still not looking great. Now I’m puzzled. Why aren’t they cooking up faster??
Come back a few minutes later. NOTHING.
And then I realize it: I shut the oven off after taking out the coconut.
The scones were baking alright… but at about 200F… not 425.
Head. Bang. Wall.
I did crank up the oven and they did get cooked but, they were dry and hard as rocks. They did taste like lemon and blueberries though – so that’s something!
And so ends my great scone adventure.
But as all great adventures end, new ones begin. And that’s how these Cheesy garlic biscuits happened.
There was no way I was leaving my kitchen without some kind of edible baked good and biscuits take about 20 minutes from start to finish and for whatever reason, I do make biscuits pretty successfully on a regular basis. This always surprises me!
These were light, fluffy with a sharp, cheesy cheddar bite and garlicky. In other words, perfect. You should probably make them. And then eat them all warm with melty butter oozing in their pores. Just make sure you turn the oven on first. And don’t add blueberries. Or lemon juice. Or toasted coconut. Follow those guidelines and you should be juuuuuust fine.
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese - the sharper the better in my opinion
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ cup milk
- turn your oven on and heat to 450F (this is a crucial step - see above)
- combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, garlic powder in a bowl
- cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture looks like fine crumbs
- stir in cheddar cheese
- stir in milk until dough leaves the sides of the bowl (it will be sticky)
- turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 10 times
- pat the dough down until it's ½ inch thick and then use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out the biscuits
- place on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart
- bake 10-12 mins or until golden
- remove from cookie sheet as soon as they come out of the oven
- for best results, serve warm
Food Photography Notes
When I was photographing the scone ingredients, I decided to do full on macros on white of all of them. This is something I struggle with a lot as a photographer. I think I still have a long way to go but I think I did ok with only so-so natural light. I’m pleased with the lemon and the blueberries. The egg could have used sharper focus and the group shot needs some serious work on eliminating shadows. But it was good practice and it was something a little bit different.
If you’ve got tips on whiteground photography (the fancy name for things photographed on a white background, I’d love to hear them!