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(Unauthorized) Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Yesterday I needed to get back on the proverbial horse with some baking. I’ve been out of the routine with summer taking over Boston and oppressive heat and humidity destroying any motivation to turn the oven on since about June. Then, last Wednesday, I questioned why I even keep an abundance of baking supplies and a robust selection of gluten free flours around when this happened.

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I can’t even describe to you the sound it made.  We were just thankful it happened at 9:30pm and not at midnight so we knew what happened. Once I saw the carnage I was wishing I could disappear.

Do you know how much fun that was to clean up? Not fun at all. I was swearing off baking with every chard of glass. I’m still finding flour in unacceptable spots of the kitchen.

Of course, I’m a sucker for savory comfort food, and all it took was a trip to Red Lobster to lift my baking embargo.  En route to a concert in Hartford we detoured for Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp. This is a fantastic move when 1) you can eat the variety of shrimp and 2) you can enjoy the infamous Cheddar Bay Biscuits.  I couldn’t really do either one of these things.  The scampi is delicious and I had more than my fill, but all a trip like that does is leave the wheels turning and the cravings on the brain. How am I going to find a loophole in the system?

I think I’ve come pretty close.

These are just a pretty basic biscuit of baking mix, butter, milk, cheese and a variety of spices. I read a lot of ‘copycat’ recipes and they all have a lot of great suggestions, but I couldn’t find one that both “looked” right (it’s all about looks – call me vain) and seemed to have the proper spice palate. I should disclose that I haven’t had a legit Cheddar Bay Biscuit in 10 years, but some things never leave your memory.

Here’s the line-up that made the cut:

  • 1 Cup Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free Biscuit and Baking Mix (this is White Rice Flour, Garbanzo Bean Flour, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Cream of Tartar – you could probably make your own – but why bother? Buy it here.)
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 6oz (about 1.5 Cups) Sharp Cheddar
  • 2/3 Cup Milk

Toss in all your dry ingredients into a large bowl and blend together.

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Add in your COLD butter. I cut it up a bit to begin, and then cut it into the flour further until it’s about pea sized.

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Ok, maybe it was grape sized. It was late. They still turned out, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Add in the shredded cheddar to your crumbly flour mix.

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Slowly stir in your milk.  Add more or less depending on the consistency you’re getting.

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It should be binding together well enough that you could knead it.  I’m always afraid of kneading gluten free anything for fear of making it too tough. I just worked these with a fork until the dough was well blended. If you’re in the mood to knead it, proceed with caution.

Portion out your biscuits onto a nonstick baking sheet.

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Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until they look like this.

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Take them off the pan and let them cool for as long as you can stand it.

They will smell delcious, but cheese will burn the roof of your mouth.

Ever bite into a Hot Pocket too soon? No?

Liar.

Just trust me and let them cool off.

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Inside you’ll find yummy, buttery goodness with a spicy kick.

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Are they close to the real thing? You’ll have to let me know.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re fantastic. I hope you enjoy.

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