Nashville “Hot” Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

March 1, 2019

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Anyone out there heard of Nashville Hot Chicken? If you have, I’ll give you a couple of minutes to finish that happy dance you must be doing at the mention of it right now, for those of you who haven’t … Oh, good Lord child, hold onto your hat! Nashville Hot Chicken is the local specialty of Nashville. You see in Nashville, they don’t just have fried chicken, which is awesome all on its lonesome, I must say. No, they have a very special, spicy hot chicken. Served up atop a piece of white bread and topped with pickles, the chicken there is marinated in a hot, spicy buttermilk brine, dredged in a spicy hot flour dredge, fried and then slathered with a fiery cayenne glaze – and that’s the mild version! Folks in Nashville are not playing! This chicken is a taste sensation that will truly light up all of your senses! The husband and I love us some spicy food, so this is right up our alley.

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As is Nashville. The chicken isn’t the only thing that’s hot there! Obviously if you love country music, you should make a bee line for this destination. But country music isn’t the only thing on the menu – we’ve pretty much come across every genre of music when visiting there. They don’t call it Music City for nothing! Not to mention, if you love food – the dynamic food scene you will find in Nashville is amazing! The signature hot chicken isn’t all there is to be had, so those of you with more tender taste buds do not need to despair.

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The husband and I have visited two times and are always planning for our next trip there. We’ve enjoyed all sorts of music entertainment – from beloved bluegrass at the iconic Station Inn to all that the honky tonks of Broadway have to offer! And food wise – yes we have sampled the Nashville Hot Chicken (more on that to come…) but we’ve also enjoyed inspired mexican dishes at St. Anjeo

IMG_7674and to die for fusion Indian/American southern dishes at the Chauhan Ale & Masala House

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as well as all the barbecue, biscuits,

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rooftop cocktails

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and fine dining you can shake a stick at. Nashville has it all going on ya’ll! And where should one stay while experiencing this bustling town? Well both times we’ve visited, we’ve stayed in a lovely suite at the Thompson Nashville in the Gulch.

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The Gulch is a very trendy, hip neighborhood on the southwest fringe of downtown Nashville. It is only blocks from Music City Central and just steps to the downtown honky tonks. This luxury hotel shares the block with the aforementioned Station Inn and boasts a fantastic rooftop bar & lounge as well as an award winning restaurant. While I’m sure all of their rooms are lovely, the Thompson suite is absolutely decadent. So spacious, boasting floor to ceiling windows, wet bars, clawfoot bathtubs, rain showers and Nashville inspired finishes – such as sliding barn doors and Marshall bluetooth speakers – this room is a destination in itself.

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But let me get back to that Hot Chicken. On our last visit to Nashville, the Husband and I decided to go sample some of the city’s hot chicken. Although the African-American community in the area had been enjoying spicy chicken for generations, Nashville Hot Chicken as it is now known was likely introduced in 1930. Apparently, there was a gentleman who was quite a womanizer. After a late night out, after which he was unable, or unwilling to provide the details of which to his current girlfriend, she saw fit to exact a little revenge on him and fried him up a special batch of chicken on which she quite liberally applied the cayenne. In a twist of fate, the victim here ended up really loving this fiery chicken. The gentleman for whom this revenge chicken was prepared was from the family of Andre Prince Jeffries – the proprietor of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shacks, one of the better known hot chicken places in Nashville. They’ve been serving up this signature dish since the 1930s. Currently there are over two dozen establishments in Nashville serving up their own versions of Hot Chicken. The husband and I chose to check out Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken.

IMG_7654Hattie B’s is a no frills kind of place, we dined on a wooden picnic table on a screened in porch, but that doesn’t seem to stop folks from lining up around the block to get ahold of some of their molten gold. We stood in line for about 30 minutes on the day we visited, but it was so worth it!IMG_7655They offer several spice levels for their chicken – southern, mild, medium, hot, damn hot and shut the cluck up! So, as I’ve mentioned, we like spicy and consider ourselves somewhat spice experienced. Spice aficionados. So I decided to go for the hot chicken. The husband he went for damn hot. And we couldn’t resist ordering one chicken tender that was designated at the “shut the cluck up” level.

IMG_7656Well, all I can say is by Nashville Hot Chicken standards, we are pretty much novices. I could eat my “hot” chicken – but it took quite a good portion of that pitcher of beer we ordered to get it down. I’m telling you this was a brow mopping, slightly sweating experience. There was absolutely no way I was going to even attempt one small taste of the “shut the cluck up’ tender that had been sitting there mocking us as we persevered through our chicken choices. But the Husband, although his mouth was already on fire, was not one to back down to a challenge. So, God help him, he took a bite!

Yup…..just as I suspected. It was pretty much life changing! There are ghost peppers rumored to be in play here. What it taught us is respect. We respect Nashville Hot Chicken now. Oh we still order it, but are always careful to get a more descriptive explanation of the spice level involved, using Hattie B’s as a baseline. That chicken hurts so good, but is not for the faint of heart!

But back to this recipe I’m sharing with you today. Do not be scared. Although I am calling this Nashville Hot Chicken, it is very very mild to what I just described.

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And if you really don’t like a lot of spice, don’t bother with the spicy glaze. What you must do is the brine. This chicken is so moist, tender and flavorful, which I think is mostly due to that brine. You don’t want to miss out on that. And just know going into this that chickens now a days are so bred to be so huge, more like turkeys really, it is unlikely you will be able to get the larger pieces like the breast and thighs done when deep-frying. You should plan to finish the chicken in the oven.

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And although it is traditional to serve Nashville Hot Chicken with a piece of white bread and pickles, I served mine up with some soft, tender buttermilk biscuits which we slathered with honey butter.

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Quite the treat I must say.  The chicken is delicious, but these biscuits are pretty amazing all on their own. Soft and airy, but with a bit of a crispy crust on the outside. Sturdy enough to hold up as a sandwich. And out of this world simply smeared with honey butter!

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So if you are ready for a taste adventure, book that trip to Nashville and give Prince’s or Hattie B’s a whirl. For an introduction to the cuisine, or to start your taste bud training, whip up this recipe!

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Nashville Hot Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy - but does involve deep-frying & all the mess that goes along with it...
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recipe from: Chef Marion Anderson with Sur La Table Cooking Classes

Ingredients:

Nashville Spice Mix:

  • 2 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Marinade:

  • 1 (3 – 4 pound) whole chicken cut into 10 serving pieces
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar-based hot sauce, such as Frank’s
  • 1/4 cup Nashville spice-mix

For the Seasoned Flour Dredge:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Nashville Spice Mix

For the dip:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup Nashville Spice Mix
  • 1 cup reserved oil from frying
  • sea salt for seasoning

Directions:

Whisk all of the ingredients for the Nashville Spice Mix together until combined and set aside.

Place the chicken in a large dish. Combine 4 cups of the buttermilk, hot sauce and the Nashville Spice Mix. Mix thoroughly and then pour over the chicken. Cover and allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 – 8 hours. I prefer a longer marinade and just let the chicken marinate overnight.

About 30 minutes before you are ready to fry the chicken, remove it from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Then leave it to rest on a wire rack which has been placed over a baking sheet. Allow the chicken to drain and come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven the 350° F. Place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and spice mix and set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, egg, baking power and baking soda for the dip.

Place a large, heavy Dutch oven on the stove. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the side and fill with about 3 inches of oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F.

Pick up a piece of the chicken, dredge it in the seasoned flour. Shake any excess flour from the chicken and then dip it into the egg mixture. Give it a shake and then dip it once more into the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess again.

Slide the coated chicken, skin side down into the hot oil. Once all of the chicken you are cooking in that batch has been added to the pan, adjust the flame as necessary. Cook for about  8-10 minutes and then check the chicken. It should be golden brown. Remove the chicken from the oil to baking tray lined with paper towels. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. It should register 165°F, if it has not reached this level, but is a perfect shade of golden brown, place the chicken into the preheated oven to finish cooking. Continue frying the chicken, remembering to allow the oil to return to 350°F between batches.

Once all of the chicken is cooked, move it from the paper towels to a wire cooling rack which has been set over a rimmed baking sheet. Add some of the hot cooking oil to the remaining Nashville Spice Mix and whisk until a paste forms. You want the paste to be thin enough to brush over the chicken as a glaze, so add as much oil as you need to achieve this consistency. Generously glaze the chicken and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Serve over a piece of white bread, along with some pickle chips if you want to be truly authentic. Or serve with some lovely Buttermilk Biscuits which have been slathered with Honey Butter, as I did. (Biscuit recipe noted below.)

Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter

servings: 8 – 16 biscuits depending on how you cut them!

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:

  • 2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) frozen unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the Honey Butter:

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Grate the frozen butter over the flour mixture and toss until all the butter is coated. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Using a fork, mix until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just one or two times. The less touching the better. Pat the dough out to a 1″ thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits out, taking care not to twist the cutter. Just push straight down and pull straight up, otherwise your biscuits will not rise as high as you might hope.

Place the biscuits on the prepared tray and brush with the beaten egg. Bake until golden-brown, about 12 -14 minutes.

Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter, honey and salt. Mix until the butter is light and fluffy. Serve with warm biscuits and spicy chicken.

Enjoy!

Nashville Hot Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Nashville Hot Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter:

Le Creuset Signature 5 1/2 quart Round Dutch Oven

Instant Read Deep Fry Thermometer

Solid Stainless Steel Spider Skimmer Ladle

Stainless Steel Cooling Rack

Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Rimmed Sheet

Silicone basting brush set

Mason Cash Into the Forest mixing bowl

Stainless Steel Box Grater

Stainless Steel Biscuit Cutters

Links for Planning your vacation in Nashville:

Accommodation:

Thompson Nashville – This boutique hotel is located in the hip and trendy Gulch neighborhood of downtown Nashville, just a few minutes walk from  It boasts a rooftop lounge, a cozy cafe and contemporary seafood restaurant. The cozy rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, sliding barn doors and premium linens.

Restaurants/Bars:

St. Añejo

Chauhan Ale & Masala House

Whiskey Kitchen

Hattie B’s -Get your Nashville Hot Chicken here! Go ahead…try the Shut the Cluck Up level…I dare you!

Biscuit Love

L.A. Jackson – Rooftop Bar at the Thompson Nashville hotel featuring sweeping views of downtown Nashville, creative cocktails and delicious small plates.

Acme Feed & Seed 

Shopping:

Vincent Peach – Gorgeous jewelry featuring tahitian pearls, tusks, leather, vintage coins, fossils and pave diamonds as far as the eye can see. Worn by the likes of Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Stephen Tyler.

Carter Vintage Guitars – Very friendly guitar store chock full of quality vintage instruments and accessories as well as a laid back and knowledgeable staff.

 

 

 

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Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits

July 6, 2012

So it has been one heck of a week! I know I haven’t published in a bit, but goood Lordy we’ve had some problems around here! It all started last Friday evening with a huge, and rather unexpected storm. It has been very hot and humid around here recently, we’re talking around 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). But that is par for the course in Virginia, in the summer time, much to my dismay. With those sultry temperatures, we will often get thunderstorms springing up in the evening hours. Usually our good weather folks give us a heads up that one may be brewing. Well last Friday night, Mother Nature had quite a surprize in store for us. An incredibly powerful and stealthy storm snuck right up on us and….KAPOW! I’m talking 80 mile per hour winds and a wall of water which just descended instantly on us unsuspecting folks who were simply minding our own business around 11 pm in the evening. Well, Falls Church was devastated, trees down everywhere, trees which took the power wires down along with them. It was bad timing, as if there were ever a good time for mass power outages, but this power outage happened in the midst of a heat wave when the mercury was expected to stay hovering around that 100 degree mark for oh, a week or so. Our power was out from Friday evening through Monday. And we are the lucky ones, as many of my less fortunate neighbours still don’t have power today. Whenever you step outside, which isn’t often if you can help it – remember, 100 degrees of scorching heat envelopes you the moment you cross the door frame – instead of  hearing the peaceful chirping hum of the crickets, you are greeted by the rattling buzz of hundreds of generators, like some sort of  swarm of angry hornets is about to descend. (Hey, after that storm, anything could happen…)

Tree (and wires) down!

Now I had cooked up some delicious, mouth-watering food last friday that I couldn’t wait to share with ya’ll. Specifically  I made crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside Buttermilk Brined Southern Fried Chicken, flaky and fluffy Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits and oh so decadent home-made Bourbon ice cream. It was really yummy. Little did we know at the time, but it turned out to be a last meal of sorts before the onslaught. I was going to get pictures of everything the next day as the light wasn’t so good when I actually finished cooking the meal. Well, you know what they say about those best laid plans of mice and men…The next day, this little mouse found herself sweltering in an electricity, cell phone, internet free zone watching all that lovely bourbon ice cream melt and pool in the bottom of her ever warming “freezer”. I saved my hard-earned southern fried chicken though, icing it down in coolers which I hid away in our basement. You see, the basement temperature was much cooler. It only got up to about 86 degrees F down there… (I have mentioned that thing about how I hate to live in Virginia in the summer…right?) Now mind you getting the ice for the cooler was no easy tasks. Every store, gas station, etc. had not had electricity all night. What with our lovely Virginia temperatures which don’t really dip significantly in the overnight hours, that ice was looong gone. So we drove about 30 miles to our friend’s neighbourhood which did not lose their power because they have under ground power lines. Nothing for the trees to pull along with them on their descent. However, all the other folks without power had this same bright idea. We managed to nab the last six bags of ice at one grocery store and thought we were going to have to fight our way out of the parking lot when the other hot, tired and angry ice seeking folks realized the last ice had left the building.

Whew! I hope you can see I’ve had my hands full! I just didn’t have the energy to fry up another mess of chicken again after this ordeal, but it was so yummy I promise I will do so again soon and share with everyone. I did manage to recreate the Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits post power outage and got some pics as well. These are truly phenomenal biscuits and were so easy to make. I have made buttermilk biscuits before, but they were always the kind you rolled out and cut. These are drop biscuits. Much simpler. And they rose up like champs! Mile High is a good description. Light, fluffy, buttery goodness! They were definitely a comfort to us during our recent tribulations. Give them a try today, while you have power. If there is one thing I have learned, you should always be prepared. You never know when Mother Nature will throw her next hissy!

Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits

recipe from: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

yield: 12 biscuits

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cold low-fat buttermilk

For Finishing:

  • 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour, distributed on a rimmed baking sheet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500° F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Also, spray the inside and outside of a 1/4-cup measure with nonstick cooking spray. * I used an ice cream scoop*

To make the dough: Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter evenly over the dry ingredients then pulse 8-10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Dump the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula just until everything is incorporated (the dough will be quite wet and sticky and somewhat lumpy).

To form the biscuits: Using the 1/4 cup measure you sprayed earlier and working quickly, scoop level 1/4 cup mounds of dough and drop them into the flour on the baking sheet. Continue until you’ve scooped all of the dough – you should have 12 mounds of dough. Use some of the flour from the baking sheet to dust the top of each mound. Flour your hands, then, one at a time, pick up each piece of dough (coating with extra flour if necessary so you can work with it) and gently shape it into a rough ball. Shake off the excess flour and place in the prepared cake pan. Repeat with the remaining mounds of dough, fitting 9 biscuits around the outer edge of the pan and 3 in the middle.

Gently brush the top of each biscuit with some of the melted butter (don’t press down and flatten them). Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 450° F and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the biscuits cool for 2 minutes, then invert them onto a clean kitchen towel. Flip the biscuits over and break them apart. Allow to cool 5 minutes longer before serving.

(Note: Store leftovers in a resealable plastic bag and reheat at 475° F for 5-7 minutes.)

Enjoy!


Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits

June 8, 2012

These Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits have got it going on! All of the makings of a fantastic breakfast; spicy sausage meat, fluffy scrambled eggs and salty hash browns, cradled right there between a flaky, buttery biscuit. Perfect when lazing about on a slow weekend morning, but also portable for those of you whose weekends are a bit more action packed!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a great recipe for Spicy Pork & Chorizo Sliders. They were really great! We just couldn’t stop thinking about eating more of them. That’s when I decided I could serve them for breakfast with just a few tiny changes. I whipped up a batch of Buttermilk Biscuits (fantastic recipe listed below), prepared some frozen hash browns, scrambled up some eggs and grilled up a fresh batch of Pork & Chorizo sliders. I put them all together and Voilá! – A most delicious breakfast biscuit was born! These aren’t big, honking biscuits, like those Pillsbury Grands for instance. They are rather petite, ( 2 1/2″) so they fit the slider sized burgers perfectly. I suppose you could make larger biscuits and correspondingly larger Pork & Chorizo patties, but there is something fun about the smaller appetizer like size. But to each his own. Feel free to do whatever makes you happy! (and these Breakfast Biscuits will definitely put a bit of spring in your step!) We were already in love with these spicy little sliders, and just jonesing for more, so making them work for another meal was just the perfect idea. Not to mention, who doesn’t love flaky, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside Buttermilk Biscuits?!!  Including the hash browns put this creation over the top!  Get your weekend off to a great start with these Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits.

Spicy Pork & Chorizo Breakfast Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch of Spicy Pork & Chorizo Sliders
  • 16 frozen potato hash brown rounds – (I used McCain’s Homestyle Baby Cakes frozen hash browns – you could also certainly prepare home made potato hash browns if you’re feeling industrious)
  • Scrambled eggs ( about 8-9 eggs for 16 biscuits)
  • 1 batch Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe below – or store-bought if you’re feeling less industrious)

I’m sure ya’ll don’t really need directions on how to construct these Breakfast Biscuits, but here goes…

Directions:

Prepare half of the recipe for Spicy Pork & Chorizo Sliders (or double the biscuit recipe – depends on how many you’re serving 🙂 ) Preheat your grill.

Prepare the hash browns according to the package directions. Set aside and keep warm.

While the hash browns are cooking, prepare the buttermilk biscuits according to the recipe listed below.

While the biscuits are on the cooling rack, grill the Pork & Chorizo Sliders. Set aside and keep warm.

Scramble the eggs.

Assemble your biscuits.

Enjoy!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: Sixteen 2 1/2″ Biscuits

Recipe from: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ( 7 1/2 oz/235 gram) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 grams) cake flour or white pastry flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup ( 4 oz./ 125 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Cup (8 fl. oz./ 250 ml) well-chilled buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Process briefly to mix. Add the butter and using short pulses, mix the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk all at once, and pulse just to moisten all the ingredients. The dough will stiffen during mixing. It should be slightly shaggy, but not overly sticky or wet. Do not overmix the dough.

Sprinkle a work surface with cake flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the work bowl and turn out the dough; it will be very soft. Sprinkle the top with cake flour. With floured hands, gently knead the dough just a few times. Pat the dough into a loose rectangle about 1 1/2 ” thick. With a plastic dough scraper or large silicone spatula, fold the rectangle like a letter, overlapping the short sides in the middle to make 3 layers. Roll or pat out the dough as needed to prevent sticking. Using a 2 1/2″ inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour cut out the biscuits by pushing the cutter straight down and lifting up without twisting. Cut as close together as possible for a minimum of scraps. Pack together and reroll the scraps to cut out additional biscuits.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake the biscuits until firm to the touch and the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 15 – 18 minutes. Place on rack to cool.


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