All right, I don’t care if you hate Red Lobster and think that their food is the worst ever (I don’t, for the record….my family loves Red Lobster and I grew up eating there on a regular basis. I like it.) everyone loves their Cheddar Bay Biscuits (if you don’t you don’t have to tell me I’m wrong. Just be content in knowing it.). I remember when they first introduced them. It was like some sort of epiphany, a little gift from Heaven in the shape of a cheesy, garlicky piece of soft bready goodness. If Red Lobster ever decided to discontinue the Cheddar Bay Biscuits, they’d have to just go ahead and close their doors, because even their most devoted fans would commit mutiny. Or so I hypothesize. But I digress…..
Now, I am sure that many of you have attempted to make these biscuits at home. For many years, I did too, with my trusty Bisquick biscuit recipe (from the back of the box). I was disappointed every time (sorry, Bisquick. It’s true). There was just something missing! A few years ago, however, I found the book Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur, and everything changed. If you have never bought any of Todd’s Top Secret Recipes books, I encourage you to do so (his website is great, too)! He has spent years unraveling favorite brand name and restaurant recipes. He has a whole series of books, and they’re just fantastic.
So, back to Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. This book included many great recipes, including Waffle House waffles (Philip was especially excited about these), P.F. Chang’s Chicken & Lettuce Wraps, and Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Todd used Bisquick, indeed….but he didn’t stop there, adding butter to amp up the richness a bit. I am not replicating his recipe exactly-my recipe is “lightened up” a bit, and cut in half since the two of us don’t eat that much. But here’s my tribute to Todd’s recipe….
The original recipe calls for the oven to be preheated to 400 degrees, but I was also making coconut shrimp which called for a temp of 475 degrees, so I compromised and heated it to 450. I also put my tiny bar pan in. These are great! It’s the perfect size for my toaster oven, and it’s what I use when I’m making biscuits just for the two of us. Grate 2 oz. of cheddar cheese-this is Cabot 75% Fat-free. I really do love this stuff.
Now, measure 1 1/4 cups of Bisquick into a bowl. This is the heart-healthy kind. I don’t use mixes much, but Bisquick really does work in this recipe. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Next, cut 2 tablespoons of light butter (I use Land O’Lakes) into small cubes (Make sure that the butter is cold, and for the love of all that is good and holy, DON’T USE
SYNTHETIC BUTTER MARGARINE. Don’t even bring it into your house. I cannot stress this enough!) and put the butter into the Bisquick, then work it in with the tips of your fingers, leaving some small bits but mostly incorporating it.
Dump the cheddar on top of the butter and Bisquick mixture. Now, measure 6 tablespoons of milk (that’s half of 3/4 cup) into the bowl, and mix everything together with a fork until it forms a ball. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it, then spoon it about 1/4 cup at a time onto the pan you will be using to bake. I used a 1/4 cup cookie scoop. If you are baking at the higher temp like I did, you will only need to bake them for about 12-13 minutes, but if you are baking at the recommended 400 degrees, they will need to bake for 15-17 minutes.
When the biscuits are done, mix together a tablespoon of melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. I just used my silicone brush to mix them together, then brush the tops with the butter-garlic mixture…and voila! Fantastic, garlic-cheddar biscuit knock-offs! And you came make them in your pjs, without having to wait for a table. What more could you ask?