Saturday, July 2, 2011

#20: Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits

All right, made the first major milestone: 20 recipes down. For some reason, having only 4/5ths of my project laid out in front of me feels GOOD, like I am finally accomplishing something! In honor of reaching SUCH a phenomenal benchmark, I finally attempted something I hadn't tried yet: savory. Reading my blog, every single one of my recipes involves truckloads of sugar. I was scared to venture outside of my comfort zone, but naturally Martha, my muse, provided a recipe I was eager to try- cream cheese and chive biscuits. Since moving to Utah, I've had a HANKERING for cream cheese, couldn't tell you why, and this roll provides PLENTY of it. DELISH. I'm already picturing myself making these for many Christmas dinners to come. Precious, and soooo... Americana. Love it.

#20: Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits (as taken from  Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsps. salt
1 tablespoon sugar (yup, snuck sugar into my savory recipe, buwhaha)
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
4 ounces cream cheese, cold, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (dreaded buttermilk, curse you!)


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and chives.
     - I stinkin' love the chives in this recipe. As a kid, my dad used to grow chives in our garden, and I loved eating them, and picking the purple flowers that also grew on them. Stephen and I found these organic chives at Smith's that come washed and in a cute little plastic carrier. So good.

2. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and cream cheese until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining.
     - I finally took pictures of what this all looks like:

3. Pour in the buttermilk; using a fork, mix in the buttermilk until incorporated and the dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky (slightly is an understatement, by the way. This was the stickiest dough I have EVER worked with. Horrible); do not overmix.

4. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently knead dough about four times, until all the crumbs are incorporated and the dough is smooth. With a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll out the dough to an 11-by-8-inch rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Using a bench scraper or long offset spatula to lift the ends of the dough, fold the rectangle into thirds (like a business letter). Give the dough a quarter turn. Roll out the dough again (to the same dimensions), and repeat the folding process. Wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
     - WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, way too wordy. Let's try that again- HERE is what I did. I COVERED the cutting board and my fingers with flour, that dough was way too sticky not to. Not really understanding how to "knead," I just sort of played with the dough until there were no crumbs left on the board, and the dough was as smooth as I thought it was going to be.
     I had no rolling pin, so I improvised. I used a cup, covered it in flour and BAM- instant rolling pin (note to self- also buy Stephen a rolling pin). Now, this is when it got tricky... for me. I went ahead and rolled it out to about the size of a piece of notebook paper, and then folding it into thirds, which looked like this:

Then I just rolled it out again, and did the three-fold again, in the opposite direction:

Naturally, the boys didn't have any plastic wrap, so I just lifted it up like that, placed it on a cookie sheet, and stuck it in the fridge for 30 minutes. There, that was easier.

5. Return the dough to the work surface. Roll out as before, and repeat the folding process. Give the dough another quarter turn; roll out the dough on more time, again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, trim and discard 1/4 inch from all side; divide the rectangle into 12 equal squares. Place on a baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
      - So basically, I just repeated the steps I outlined above, rolled it out again, and trimmed off the rough edges. Then I placed the squares I cut out on the cookie sheet I had had in the fridge, and returned it into the fridge for another hour.

6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 15 to 18 minutes.
     - So, I kept the biscuits in for 8 minutes, turned the sheet, and then kept them back in the oven for an additional 8 minutes. Here are the results:

Such a time consuming project, but they were really good with our penne and meat sauce that night. Culinary genius.

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