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Southern Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Biscuits

Mary Anne here. This recipe was culled from my Nana’s book of “receipts.” She was a post-Civil War baby, raised on a plantation in Eufala, Alabama, and although my grandfather moved his bride to the icy cold of Buffalo, N.Y., her heart and palate remained south of the Mason-Dixon line. Nana’s leather-bound book of receipts, filled with notes and recipe clippings, reflects a simpler time, when families ate most meals together and everything was made from scratch. Lard, butter, and heavy cream were cupboard staples, and thickly-sliced  iced cakes, steaming fruit pies and freshly baked breads were an ordinary part of daily life. Judging by many of her entries, Nana and her peers were not particularly concerned about cholesterol or triglycerides and they enjoyed indulging in all that tastes good – fat, sugar, and carbs. Go Nana!

While I took the easy way out and used Bisquick instead of making biscuits from scratch, you can follow the instructions in our Ham And Cheese Tea Biscuits if you’d prefer to DIY (sorry Nana). And speaking of dough, this is one that I couldn’t worry about over-working: you’ll have to thoroughly combine the sausage-cheese mixture. The result was sensational; in fact, after Michael dunked one treat into the warm syrup, he barely came up for air before blurting out, “This is a keeper!” He doesn’t need to worry – these will appear at most family breakfasts from here on out…and maybe they’ll even make a cameo on Christmas morning.

Southern Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Biscuits
Makes about 50

Note: Homemade sausage is unquestionably a southern tradition, and the pork portion of this recipe doubles as breakfast patties, if you prefer to skip the biscuit-cheese components.

The uncooked biscuits can be made ahead of time and stashed in the freezer in a sealed bag. I arrange the balls in a single layer in the bag and place it on a cookie sheet until they’re frozen. This method keeps their round shape intact and you can remove the cookie rack once the balls are frozen.When ready to use, simply defrost and bake according to the directions.

To make these kid-friendly, cut the red pepper in half or eliminate entirely, depending on the wee one’s taste for spice.

2 ¼ cups Bisquick – $3.69
2/3 cup milk or buttermilk – stock
1 lb. uncooked ground pork – $3.29
½ Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes – stock
½ Teaspoon ground black pepper – stock
¼ Teaspoon ground cinnamon – stock
1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves – stock
1/8 Teaspoon ground allspice – stock
2 Tablespoons water
½ lb. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated – $2.29
warm maple syrup – $3.29
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $12.56
Total Per Biscuit: $0.25

1. Position the oven rack to the middle level. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Bisquick and milk, stirring to combine. It will be lumpy, but don’t worry – the kneading occurs when the pork-cheese mixture is incorporated.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the uncooked ground pork, water, and spices, mixing well with a fork. Fold in the grated cheddar, again using the fork to combine thoroughly.

4. Add the sausage-cheddar mixture to the Bisquick dough. Powder your hands with a Tablespoon or so of plain Bisquick or flour, and gently knead the mixture until thoroughly combined.

5. Shape the mixture into 1½ inch balls, rolling between the palms of your hands.

6. Transfer the balls to an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden. You will need to do this in 2 batches.

7. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with warmed maple syrup.