Well, I didn’t get it out before Thanksgiving. Good news is you probably have a thousand holiday potlucks between now and the new year, so here’s one for the repertoire!
Holidays at my Grandma’s has always been a little nuts.
My mother has 8 siblings, most of whom have multiple children, who now have children themselves. So it’s pretty crowded, to say the least, and gets more crowded every year as more cousins get married and reproduce (with other people, not with each other, it’s not that part of Missouri). So our Holiday meals don’t look like most families. We don’t sit around a table and politely pass dishes of sides and carve off a single centerpiece turkey that everyone oohs and ahs over as it is enthusiastically revealed.
No, my friends. There are several turkeys, which are unceremoniously plopped on one of many folding tables along with a plethora of potluck style sides moments before everyone fights for a place in line to serve themselves buffet style. Then we judge. But in a friendly, I-love-you-but-Troy’s-turkey-is-better kind of way. It’s actually really great, and it’s even better now that we’re “adults” and can drink.
Even though I love our crazy thanksgivings, I’ve never been particularly attached to the traditional Thanksgiving spread.
Maybe it was because I was a somewhat picky eater as a child. I had never even tried a yam until a few years ago, and I still prefer my mashed potatoes sans gravy. So perhaps I simply never developed that deeply nostalgic relationship with Thanksgiving food because, well, I wasn’t eating it! Now as an adult with a much more adventurous palette, I find myself looking for recipes that liven up those old-school holiday staples. Why not throw some bacon in that apple pie? Why not do an orange cranberry relish instead of that gelatinous cranberry sauce?
That’s why these rosemary goat cheese biscuits by Ashley of Baker by Nature appealed to me. They are familiar holiday dinner fare with their flaky, golden-brown outsides, and soft, pillowy insides, while also adventurous with tangy goat cheese, and aromatic rosemary. These biscuits are a perfect complement to a turkey or spiral ham, or even just a regular day dinner of soup or stew. Definitely make extra though, these were so good that Josh and I each had 3 in one sitting. (Although, if you’re looking for a more traditional buttermilk biscuit, I got you covered on that too – click here)
Tell me these don’t scream warm and cozy family dinner to you, and I will call you a liar. Perfectly fluffy outsides, beautifully golden insides, they’re straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. My only criticism is that a few of them did kind of lop over during baking, making them a little unevenly shaped. This may be due to user error, I will continue to experiment to see if I get different results. This could be due to the light in my oven being out, forcing me to open the oven to see when things are done, always a baking no-no. Next time I will try freezing the first to see if that helps. If you try them out, let me know if you get different results and we’ll compare notes.
This is two posts in a row that have received very high marks. Maybe I’m too lax, or maybe I’m just an awesome baker who’s magical touch can make any recipe turn out delicious? I like to think I just know how to pick a good recipe. As a general rule, anything with goat cheese is already winning in my eyes. I’m not biased towards my own baking, my husband and my friend Pete both couldn’t stop eating these. They are slightly denser than regular biscuits due to the goat cheese being heavier than butter. I feel that added to the tangy and slightly cheesy flavor, and were still very light. The rosemary provides just enough herby goodness without overpowering the dish you are eating these with. These biscuits are great dipped in soup or gravy or plain straight out of the oven.
I love kneading. It’s one of the rare instances in life where you get to squash and beat something and it turns out better for it. So anytime a recipe calls for kneading the dough, I always get a mischievous little glimmer in my eye. I’ve noticed, however, that not everyone feels the same. People read the words “knead the dough” and see visions of sweaty-faced and flour-covered bakers from days of yore panting as they punch their thousandth dough of the day into submission. Fear not, my friends, the kneading in this one is quick and easy, just a couple of good turns to combine everything and you’re good to go.
The only other part that can be a little off-putting is the direction to “rub” the butter into the flour mixture. What this means is after you finish grating your butter, add it to the flour, then pick up small handfuls of butter and flour and rub it between your fingers to break up the butter and incorporate it into the flour. Do this until everything in the bowl is the same texture. That’s it, that’s the hard stuff. Now get in there and get your hands dirty.
The recipe was very simple and easy to follow. I mean, there are only 3 steps. The only part that I feel may need a little more clarification for those that don’t make a lot of bread or pastry is the aforementioned butter rubbing.
This one gets the silver medal for most expensive bake to date, coming in at around $15 for the batch. Totally worth it, in my opinion. The majority of the cost was due to the cheese, costing around $10 for 8 oz of middle-quality goat cheese. The recipe only calls for 6 oz, but I could only find 4 oz logs so I had to buy 2 logs anyway. I spread the remaining cheese directly on the inside of the biscuit-like butter and I highly recommend it.
The one annoying thing about this recipe wasn’t that it necessarily took a long time, but that some of the steps were incredibly tedious. The rosemary was probably the worst, as 1/4 cup of chopped fresh rosemary is a lot more than you think it is. A good chunk of the time it took to make these biscuits was just picking the damn rosemary leaves off the twig. I say this as though it took hours when in reality it was probably only a few minutes. But it felt like forever.
The other tedious part was the grating of the butter. I did this by hand because I thought, “how long could it take to grate 3 tablespoons of butter?” and didn’t want to dirty more dishes than necessary. Next time, however, I will use the grater blade on my food processor and I predict it will speed things up significantly and totally be worth the extra dishes. The good news is I feel these would probably keep rather well in the freezer. So you could bake them ahead of time, or even make a few dozen and break out a couple at a time as you want them.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the savory baking as of late, so if you have any requests for more savory bakes you’d like to see from me in the future, please let me know! Do you think goat cheese would be a welcome addition to your family holiday, or is it maybe a little too far outside the norm for the traditionalists? If you try these rosemary goat cheese biscuits, tell me about it in the comments!
Once more with feeling, for the recipe click here!