Writin' Rations™

This qualifies as Writin' Rations™ because it's just so damn easy to make.

Cheese and Almond Biscuits*

NOTE!! All measurements approximate — that's part of what makes this qualify as Writin' Rations™: you just chuck stuff in a bowl!

1/2 cup butter (and only butter will do! Margarine is the devil's own foodstuff)
3 cups white flour (all-purpose/plain)
1 cup whole-wheat/wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking POWDER
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated cheddar/tasty cheese
2 cups chopped almonds (or walnuts, or hazlenuts, or any combination thereof, really)
A bunch of milk

Preheat the oven to about 375F/190C.

Dump the butter into a largeish bowl, and dump the powdery stuff in there, too. Using a pastry cutter or a sturdy fork, blend the butter and the powdery stuff until it's all like fairly uniform crumbs, rather than lumps of butter coated with flour. (This process is speeded up immeasurably by letting the butter get just a bit closer to room temperature, even though biscuit purists would probably squeal with rage to read this. But this is Writin' Rations™ — if it ain't quick, it don't qualify.)

Dump the cheese and chopped nuts into the bowl and make sure all the bits are coated evenly with powdery/buttery crumbs and it's all mixed up with no clumps of one particular material predominating. This may require a bit of a tossing motion (see? you did need a largeish bowl).

Get your baking sheets ready (I've become a big, big fan of baking paper, as it really speeds cleanup, and, as I've mentioned, speed is one of the crucial elements of Writin' Rations™).

Pour milk into your bowl in one-cup increments and mix quickly and gently until either (1) you have a doughy, somewhat gooey (but not too gooey) mass that holds together and all the dry stuff is included or (2) you see that there is still way too much dry stuff and you're going to need another cup of milk. Note! Do not mix vigorously, and do not mix overly thoroughly. Biscuits do NOT, repeat NOT, benefit from the gluten-forming properties of flour that are so beloved when making bread. The less you mix, the better! Also note: If you realize things are a bit too gooey, that's not really a problem. Even if the dough is a bit wet-looking, as long as it will still hold together in lumps on the baking sheet, that's all you need. Ask me how I know.

Put lumps of dough about the size of, oh, heck, maybe a little bigger than a ping-pong ball? on the baking sheets, leaving about a half inch to an inch (one to two centimeters) of white space around each lump.

Bake until they are really quite, quite brown (the cheese tastes nice and toasty that way), but not burnt!! The whole house will smell fantastic.

I can only wait until they don't actually blister my flesh before I start eating them with vulgar enthusiasm. They're beyond fantastic when fresh, but they make a pretty good breakfast the next day, too. I have no idea how well they keep, because at our place the few that survive dinner usually don't last much past breakfast the next day.

Once you have the hang of it, you can throw a batch together in less than 15 minutes (plus baking time, but you can go do things while they're baking, so this still counts as quick.)

*Biscuit. Not cookie. American-style baking-powder biscuit. If you must insist that "biscuit" means, like, Oreos or whatever, then substitute "scone" for "biscuit." And hang your head for being so culturally insensitive.


At 8:35 AM, Blogger Houston said...

In a way, it doesn't matter what you call them, a biscuit by another other name would still tastes as good as these ones... or something like that.


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