Cat Head Biscuits

Quick and easy BEST biscuits EVER! They're HUGE!So here at Our Best Bites, we have over 900 recipes. Wow, right? Kind of crazy. What’s crazier? None of them are recipes for straight-up biscuits. I’m not sure why–part of it, at least for me, is that a good biscuit is hard to beat, but finding a good biscuit is surprisingly hard, especially considering how simple the recipe is. Since Alton Brown is kind of the king of food science and biscuits are basically a science experiment that has the potential to result in delicious weight gain, I tried his, thinking they would SURELY be amazing (especially since they had rave reviews), and they were not. It was one of my more epic kitchen fails. No one in my family would touch them. I texted Sara, telling her if she was looking for a biscuit recipe, this one was NOT it and she told me she had the same experience.

So I gave up for awhile. It was one of my dark periods. And then I got the America’s Test Kitchen Best Ever Recipes 2013 Issue and saw the recipe for Cat Head Biscuits. Because they’re supposed to be as big as a cat’s head.

Now…this is my cat. Note the size of her head.

willow

Her name is Willow. She hates me unless it’s cold outside, then she tries to crawl in bed with me. I can attest to the fact that these biscuits are roughly the size of her head, but I cannot show you because like all evil mystical creatures, she doesn’t show up in mirrors or in pictures. Kidding. But she really wouldn’t let me take a picture of her with a biscuit. This is about as friendly as she gets. I took this picture on Christmas Eve, so she was probably overcome with the Christmas spirit or something.

Anyway. These biscuits are not just huge, but they are AMAZING. They’re not flaky, but they’re the softest, lightest, most tender biscuits (which comes from a combination of the lighter flour and the shortening) and they have a rich, butter flavor (which comes from…wait for it…the butter). I suppose you could use them for something like biscuits and gravy, but it almost seems sacrilegious to put anything other than homemade jam on them.

The other thing I love about them is that if you focus and don’t check Facebook and Instagram 52 times while you’re making them, you could easily make these, start to finish, in less than 30 minutes, and most of that is baking time. They’re SO quick and easy, but they taste like heaven.

Like I mentioned a second ago, you’re not using regular flour here. In the ATK write-up about the recipe, they go into a lot of explanations about the whys and hows and protein content and whatever. I highly recommend you get the issue and read all about it. BUT. Suffice it to say that if you can, you should use White Lily flour, which produces these light, fluffy biscuits.

White Lily Flour

However, it’s not available to buy in stores everywhere (check here to see if you live in a state that sells it in stores). If you DON’T live where they sell it, don’t freak out yet. Probably your best bet is from soap.com (good price, free, fast shipping, what’s not to like, right?) If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, you can substitute 1 1/2 cups (or, if you have a kitchen scale, 7 1/2 ounces) of all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife and 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) of cake flour, measured the same way. I know some of you are itching to ask about substitutions. I don’t recommend substituting anything else, not all all-purpose flour or bread flour or whole wheat flour or quinoa flour or cornstarch or some magical carb-free flour that your neighbor is selling and is not regulated by the FDA. Either White Lily or the 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 cake flour combination. I’m not trying to be a bossy jerkface, it just is what it is.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9″ round cake pan with shortening and set aside.

In addition to the flour, you’re going to need baking powder, baking soda, table salt,

salt baking powder baking soda

a lot of butter, and a little shortening (again, it is what it is–according to Juli, our friend and resident food specialist–seriously, guys, she develops recipes for Better Homes & Gardens–all Crisco products are now trans-fat free. If that doesn’t do it for you, lard is always an option if your diametrically opposed to using shortening), softened and cut into 1/2″ pieces.

butter and shortening

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingers, mix the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

buttermilk for biscuits

buttermilk in flour

and stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until combined.

mixed biscuit dough

Use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup to measure out 6 heaping portions of dough and place them each in the prepared pan, one in the middle

biscuit dough in pan

and 5 surrounding it.

biscuit dough in pan

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top.

Quick and easy BEST biscuits EVER! They're HUGE!

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Carefully break apart the biscuits with two forks

Quick and easy BEST biscuits EVER! They're HUGE!

(or leave them in the pan until you’re ready to serve them).

Cat Head Biscuits from Our Best Bites

Makes 6 ginormous, cat head-sized biscuits.

Quick and easy BEST biscuits EVER! They're HUGE!

 

59 comments

  1. As Nathalie Dupree, the great southern cook and cookbook author (her book, Southern Biscuits, makes very good reading) says, “Biscuits are not health food.” But they are the most wonderful treat and following this recipe, very easy, and are equally delicious plain, with butter or jam or honey or with gravy. They freeze really well, too, except at our house they get eaten quickly and never make it to the freezer.

  2. All Crisco products are now free of trans fats, so feel free to shortening away to your heart’s (and biscuit’s) content.

  3. I think it would be great to have my own food blog…but then I read your posts and how you have to write in a way to avoid all the crazy questions that you normally get. I’m sure you are super nice to your readers and their “interesting” substitution requests. (This is supposed to be a compliment but not sure I’m accomplishing that.) Anyway, I love reading the parts of your posts that are “bossy.” JUST TRUST KATE AND SARA…THEIR RECIPES HAVE NEVER FAILED US.

  4. Okay, so I just adore this cat picture. Loved it when you posted it on Instagram and I’m loving it again. I too have a cat (and have had many over the years) and I swear, they love giving evil glares in pictures. They just are meant to look menacing. Thanks for sharing this picture and making me laugh all over again!

    As far as the biscuits go, I might actually be tempted to buy this special flour to try them. I love me some good biscuits, but can’t for the life of me make them so they don’t taste like rocks covered in chalk dust. You’re inspiring me to new heights, Miss Kate!

    1. I was raised on White Lily flour. My mother would not use anything else. She made her cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and yeast rolls using this. I try to use more whole wheat now since white flour really has been striped of all the healthy stuff. To me there is not another flour that is as good as White Lily if you are using white flour.

      I just couldn’t justify that much flour per biscuit plus that much butter and shortening. WOW!!! Can’t imagine the calories.

  5. I think I saw an episode of ATK where they made these and remember laughing at the cat’s head reference! You are very right about a good biscuit recipe, though, and since I haven’t had a fail with any OBB recipes (OK, except for a chocolate cake, but that was my own fault…LOL) and ATK is my favorite cooking show, I’m definitely gonna put these on the to make asap list!!

  6. I tried the Alton Brown biscuits as well and we hated them. Our current favorite are from Paula Dean. Since I am making my family eat left overs tonight maybe I will make these so they won’t be so mad at me. 😉

  7. Why oh why can I not eat wheat!!! These look so good and easy. Seeing your cat makes me miss my cat and she loved me until I had small children that chased her. Then she stayed hidden for years. Do you know why White Lily is so special?

  8. Okay, you’re raising my hopes for these. I’m trying to find a go-to biscuit but so far they’re pretty much run-away-from… = )

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