Cheesy Mini Biscuits with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

by Lynne on March 16, 2010

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I thought I would give you another recipe from my Thanksgiving 2009 menu, because we’re rushing through 2010 and it will be Thanksgiving again before we know it. Then I’ll have a whole new batch of vegetarian dishes to report on. I bet you are shaking your head, thinking, why is that woman talking about Thanksgiving in March?? I remember when I was a kid, the time used to crawl. And now the older I get the faster it seems to go by. Weird.

The photo of these little biscuit appetizers makes them look like they are fist-sized, but they are really only about an inch square. See that little plate – it is held up with an egg cup. This recipe makes a lot of these little guys, so I froze about half on a sheet pan, then put them in a plastic zip bag to be used at a later date. If you do that, don’t thaw them out, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.

When you are folding and rolling the dough, don’t worry about rips or tears. Just pat it back together. The goal is to evenly distribute the cheese in the dough, without making it part of the dough. Just so you end up with a 10-inch square at the end, you’re good.

Cheesy Mini Biscuits

Yields about 64 biscuits

2 cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ¾ cups AP flour plus ¼ cup (or more) for dusting and rolling
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, frozen
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (purchased or see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Mix cheese, parsley, basil, thyme, sage and pepper in medium bowl.

3. Whisk 2 ¾ cups flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in another large bowl. Using large holes of box grater, grate frozen butter onto plate. Add grated butter to flour mixture and rub in with fingertips until evenly distributed. Stir in buttermilk just until incorporated (dough will be sticky).

4. Sprinkle work surface with ¼ cup flour. Transfer dough to work surface; sprinkle dough with flour. Using hands, press dough into 8-inch square, about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle more flour on work surface as needed to prevent sticking.

5. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese-herb mixture over 2/3 of surface of dough, leaving 1/3 of dough surface uncovered. To fold as for business letter: Using dough scraper or metal spatula as aid, lift uncovered dough portion from work surface and fold over half of cheese-covered portion; still using dough scraper or metal spatula as aid, lift folded portion over remaining cheese-covered portion.

6. Sprinkle dough with flour to prevent sticking. Press dough out again to 8-inch square. Spread ½ cup cheese-herb mixture over 2/3 of dough, repeat folding as for business letter, pressing dough out to 8-inch square. Repeat 2 more times.

7. Roll out dough on floured surface to 10-inch square.  Cut into 8 equal strips, then cut crosswise into 8 equal strips, making 64 squares. Place biscuits in single layer on baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time on rack in center of the oven for about 10 minutes until golden on top and tester comes out clean.

8. Let biscuits cool to touch. Rub a little butter on tops of biscuits and sprinkle with parmesan. Hold biscuits on sheet 3 inches from broiler until parmesan bubbles, but not brown.

9. When cool enough to handle, using a small serrated knife, cut the biscuits in half horizontally. Spread with about ½ tablespoon pesto and replace top half of biscuit. Serve.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or more to taste
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and minced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1. Puree oil, vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in blender until smooth.  Add more oil, if necessary, for best consistency. Whisk to recombine before using.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gaby March 17, 2010 at 8:36 am

Lynne these are so adorable! They look delicious too – love your photography!

Patti at Worth The Whisk March 17, 2010 at 9:14 am

WOW, who doesn’t like a combo of cheese and biscuits? The instructions are very clear, too, thank you for that!

arugulove April 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Yum! I’m hosting a cocktail party soon and I love this idea for this! Thanks!

Dimah April 11, 2010 at 5:26 am

These look absolutely fabulous!

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