I don’t have any kind of substantive story to accompany this recipe. I made these because I had leftover Gorgonzola and leftover hazelnuts from this wonderful dish, and that’s about as profound as it gets today.
They were delicious and awesome, of course. Perfect fluffy texture, with the light crunch of the nuts and the tang of the blue cheese. Matt all but demanded that I make these again sometime.
Drop biscuits are an ideal initiation to the world of biscuit making. I understand that making biscuits from scratch can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. After you do it once, though, you realize how ridiculously easy it is and then you want to make them all the time. But, if there is any nervousness on your part, first try some drop biscuits. Basically, all you do is mix together the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, then add the liquid and any add-ins, mix together, then drop spoonfuls of the batter onto a baking sheet. No rolling pins, no kneading, no dough sticking to your counter or cutting board because you forgot to flour it. I’ve never done that, by the way. I’m just saying, hypothetically, one could forget. 😉
So whether you’re a novice or a pro in the biscuit world, definitely give these a shot. I think you’ll love them. You can use any blue cheese you like. The original recipe called for Stilton, I used Gorgonzola because it’s what I had on hand (and because it’s Matt’s favorite type of blue cheese, that’s usually what I have lying around). You could also play around with the choice of nuts. Hazelnuts are in the original recipe, and that’s what I used, but this would be equally delicious with walnuts, I think. See what strikes your fancy!
Source: adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook
2 ½ cups flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs baking powder
¾ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut or sliced into pieces
1 cup chilled buttermilk
1 large egg
¾ cup blue cheese crumbles
2/3 cup chopped, skinned, toasted hazelnuts
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter. You can do this with a pastry blender (my preferred method), two forks (that’s never worked for me) or your fingers, which works quite nicely. If you’re using your fingers, I recommend running them under cold water first, then drying them thoroughly with paper towels.
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the center of the dough and pour in the buttermilk. Then add the blue cheese and nuts and mix with a spatula until it comes together.
Using 1/3 cup dough for each biscuit, drop 12 mounds onto prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and tester inserted comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.