Nutty Purple Moon Cheddar, Onion, and Pepper Biscuits
Summer is nearing its end and while I’m craving cozy and comforting bakes, it’s still incredibly sticky out. These biscuits are certainly comforting, robust in flavor and are irresistibly savory. During the last stretch of warmer days while I eagerly wait for crisp mornings, breezy days, and cool nights, I find myself searching for recipes that are light, effortless and require minimal time in the kitchen. The sweet and tangy flavor of Purple Moon Cheddar along with the sharpness of onion pairs perfectly with the nuttiness that ghee and peppercorn bring in every bite.
Now I’m not much of a wine connoisseur however I do know a thing about cheese and I love biscuits. For this recipe I’ve used Fiscalini’s Purple Moon Cheddar which is a semi-hard cheese that is soaked in a California red wine. I was able to purchase this cheese at our Walmart nearby and while there are other wine cheeses, I’ve always been impressed with all cheese by Fiscalini Farmstead. The fragrance of this cheddar is amazing, and the flavor is fruity yet tart and compliments the other rich flavors in this recipe. If wine cheese isn’t something you care for, I recommend trying a sharp, aged white cheddar or a gruyere in these biscuits.
A second ingredient that is significant but not necessary is ghee. If you’d rather not use ghee butter, that is fine however the nuttiness from the ghee brings so much added richness. Here’s why I love baking with ghee in this recipe: It’s a clarified butter which offers an aromatic and nutty flavor. The ghee lends to a flakier biscuit with a crispier edge and soft inside. The overall flavor of the ghee compliments the zest from the onion and blends well with the Purple Moon Cheddar.
Some pointers and additional information about this recipe:
This recipe is not exclusively gluten-free however a measure for measure or one to one gluten-free flour substitutes perfectly (I really love King Arthur’s). If you’re making this gluten-free, I do recommend adding an extra teaspoon of baking soda.
Freshly ground black peppercorns really give these biscuits a pop! I really like the Smoked Black Peppercorn from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can check them out here:
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour or a gluten-free measure for measure flour
2 tablespoons coconut or cane sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons minced, dry onion
1 tablespoon freshly ground peppercorn
1 cup cold Ghee or unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup walnuts, chopped
6 ounces Fiscalini Purple Moon Cheddar, divided (or other wine cheese)
1 ½ cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425° and prepare two standard baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, including onion and peppercorn. Add cold ghee or butter to flour mixture, tossing just to coat. Using a pastry cutter or fork, blend ghee into flour mixture until dough becomes crumbly. Stir in walnuts and half of the cheddar. Add buttermilk slowly, stirring until a dough begins to form. The dough may look stringy or not fully combined and that is okay.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Using a cup or round cookie cutter (about 3 inches in diameter), cut biscuits. Repeat this process of pressing and cutting until the dough is used up entirely. Place biscuits on prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove biscuits from freezer and brush tops of biscuits generously with melted butter. Sprinkle remaining cheddar on top of each biscuit. Bake until tops are golden brown, about 15 o 17 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 biscuits.