A reader recently asked me if I would be willing to share my cheese biscuit recipe from Nell and Lady. If you read the novel, you know the one I’m talking about. When I was growing up, every year at Christmastime, I’d wait with great anticipation for my grandmother’s arrival. My brother and I always rushed out to greet her when she pulled into the driveway in her long Cadillac. She was an old-fashioned cook and her enormous trunk was always packed with metal tins of goodies—sugar cookies, chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, and butterscotch haystacks, the ones with the chow mein noodles. She also baked a vanilla cake with chocolate fudge icing and every kind of pie imaginable. But her cheese biscuits were everyone’s favorite, especially my father’s. And they never lasted long. I always knew them as cheese biscuits. You can imagine how surprised I was to see this recipe for Spiced Pecan Cheese Coins in the November/December Christmas edition of the Southern Lady magazine. I plan to try this Southern Lady recipe as the technique seems more fool-proof than my grandmother’s. I haven’t made my grandmother’s in years, but inevitably I struggled to make them turn out as yummy as hers.
Grandmother’s Cheese Biscuits
8 ounces extra sharp cheese – (shredded cracker-barrel)
1 1/2 stick butter
2 cups plain flour – (sift before measuring)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Cream cheese and butter. Add flour and salt and pepper. Mix with hands. Roll out on a tea towel with wax paper on top. Add pecan before cooking and sifted powdered sugar afterward. Cook on an ungreased cookie sheet 300 degrees for 25 or 30 minutes.
Spiced Pecan Cheese Coins (From the Southern Lady magazine)
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar (room temperature)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 (8 ounces) package cream cheese softened
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
60 pecan halves
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. In the work bowl of a food processor, place cheese, butter, cream cheese, Worcestershire, and hot sauce; pulse until smooth.
- Add flour mixture, and pulse until very creamy, stopping to scrape sides of the bowl.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 3 (2-inch-thick) logs. Roll in parchment paper, securing at ends. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove logs from freezer. Using a sharp knife cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick coins. Place coins on prepared pans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each coin with egg wash. Press a pecan half into center of each coin.
- Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.