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Monday, April 12, 2010

Cat Head Biscuits

It was a Friday night. Dinner, a casserole, was in the oven. I was taking a few minutes to put my feet up and flip through my new Cook's Country magazine. I turned the page and was accosted by an enormous photo of a mile-high mountain of flaky heaven. The title read, "Cat Head Biscuits." I read on:

"I've eaten my way through more than a few biscuit baskets, but I did a double take not long ago (not to mention a U-turn) when I spied 'cat head biscuits' on a highway billboard advertising a country cafe near Greensboro, NC. Say what?! 'They're a big ol' biscuit,' the waiter told me when I reached the place. 'Big as a cat's head.' A few minutes later, the biscuits arrived warm from the oven - huge; as advertised, and as soft and fluffy as a dinner roll. The pull-apart sides were like pillows, the tops golden brown and craggy, the insides tender and moist. The only problem? I'd had to travel nearly 1,000 miles to get them. Well, maybe not." - Cali Rich

Drool. I skimmed the rest of the article. My tummy grumbled. I quick-checked the ingredient list - oh my gosh, I have all that! - and the directions to make sure there was nothing time-consuming or tricky - oh my gosh, are they that easy? A quick check of the clock told me I had time - I could have these biscuits TONIGHT! So we did. And just as the author claimed, they were craggy, pillowy, moist, golden clouds. Heaven. Heaven I tell you!

Cat Head Biscuits
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
4 T vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position. Grease 9-inch round cake pan. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Rub butter and shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. (I use my hands at first, and then switch to a pastry cutter to achieve the right texture.) Stir in buttermilk until combined.

2. Use a greased 1/2-cup measure (that's what I used) or large spring-loaded ice cream scoop (I gotta get me one of those - perfect for muffins and biscuits!) to transfer 6 heaping portions of dough into prepared pan. One goes in the middle, five around the perimeter.
3. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve.

Makes 6 big ol' biscuits. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe from Cook's Country, April/May 2010

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Oh my ..I have all the ingredients as well...but I am guessing 10:30 pm is a bit late to cook up some carbs!

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