Let’s face it. Red Lobster has the BEST cheddar biscuits on the planet. Even after weight loss surgery, I can eat far too many of those tender delights. I’m convinced that when we all get to heaven and God serves dinner, Cheddar Bay biscuits are going to be on the menu.
Since I can’t afford to eat at Red Lobster every day, I started the quest to make the perfect clone of their biscuits. It’s taken me several years to figure out how to make these, not that we’ve minded experimenting too much. Tonight, I think I finally got it just right. The basic dough is a combination of the ‘Popeye’s Biscuits’ recipe from the book “Cajun Cookin’ Too” by Maw Maw Judice, and the master biscuit mix recipe from the “More-with-Less” cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre. You might be able to pick up a copy of Maw Maw’s book by ordering it from Larry’s French Market. If you enjoy Cajun food, you’ll love her cookbook. I added the additional ingredients after experimenting and looking at the countless clone recipes out here on the internet.
First, you need to have biscuit mix. You can use Jiffy mix or Bisquick, but since our family has had to work around dairy and soy allergies, I got used to making my own homemade biscuit mix.
Here is the recipe I used for the biscuit mix. It makes 4 pounds–more than enough for the biscuits and enough left over to make a bunch of pancakes and biscuits another time. You’ll need a very large bowl or a larger stand mixer for this. If you have a regular sized stand mixer, you may need to cut the recipe in half to fit the bowl.
Sift together the following:
- 10 c. flour
- 6 T. baking powder
- 1 1/2 T. salt
- 1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
- 1/4 c. sugar
Once sifted, cut shortening into the flour mix until it’s the consistency of corn meal:
- 2 c. shortening
I let the stand mixer do the work. If you want it more milk-flavored, add in 2 c. dry milk powder, but it’s not required. I didn’t include it, and I think the biscuits came out more tender without it. The mix can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Maw Maw Judice’s Popeye’s Biscuit recipe is very tender, just like the ones in the namesake restaurant. When I realized those biscuits had the same buttery flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture, I knew I’d found my base. From there, it was a matter of adjusting seasonings. Cheddar Bay biscuits have a combo of several things: Cheddar cheese, Old Bay seasoning, and lots and lots of garlicky-tasting butter on top. If you don’t have Old Bay seasoning, you can order it from the Old Bay company here, or you can make a version of your own. There are many copycat recipes on the net.
Here’s the recipe for Jae’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
- 4 c. biscuit mix
- 3/4 c. club soda (I buy a six pack of the tiny bottles since a big bottle would go to waste–no one wants to drink it!)
- 8 oz. sour cream (1 c.). Don’t go low-fat here unless you absolutely, positively have to. You need the appropriate fat to keep the biscuits tender.
- 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, divided and melted.
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (you can add more if you like)
- 3/4 t. Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 2 t. chopped chives or parsley flakes (I like the bit of onion flavor so I use snipped fresh chives. My chive plant needed a haircut tonight anyway)
- Garlic salt to sprinkle on top
- Chopped chives or parsley flakes to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Melt the butter, and pour half of it onto a cookie sheet. Spread it around with a brush.
In a large bowl, mix together the biscuit mix, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, chives or parsley, and cheese. Add the club soda and sour cream, and mix just until blended. Don’t overmix!
Drop large spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until just brown on top. I only baked mine 13 minutes. When finished baking, brush the tops with the rest of the melted butter, and sprinkle with some more chopped chives or parsley flakes. Lightly sprinkle garlic salt on top–don’t overdo it or they’ll taste too salty. If you only have garlic powder, sprinkle that on top but then sprinkle on a bit of table salt as well. Garlic powder won’t cut it alone–it needs that bit of salt to give it the correct flavor.
Enjoy! I won’t tell you not to eat too many when I can’t follow that advice myself!