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Pepper Biscuits with Cheddar-Pecan Spread

  • SERVINGS: makes about 4 dozen
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

This southern-style hors d'oeuvre is one of the best-sellers at Sage & Swift, a caterer in Durham, North Carolina. Serve any leftover cheese spread on white toast, wheat crackers or celery.

CHEDDAR-PECAN SPREAD

  1. 4 ounces cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup sour cream
  3. 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 7 ounces)
  4. 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (about 2 ounces)
  5. 2 medium scallions, white part only, finely chopped
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

BISCUITS

  1. 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  2. 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  3. 1 cup buttermilk
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a food processsor, blend the cream cheese and sour cream. Add the Cheddar and pulse until combined. Add the pecans and scallions and pulse until incorporated. Add the salt, black pepper and pepper sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the chives. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir until a soft dough forms; do not overmix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or Champagne glass, cut out rounds from the dough. Arrange the rounds on 2 large baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom and top. Let cool.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the biscuits in half horizontally. Spread the bottom half of each biscuit with about 1 rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Cover with the top halves of the biscuits and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle the biscuits with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped chives and serve.
Make Ahead

The spread can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Let return to room temperature before serving.

The biscuits can be frozen for up to a month. Rewarm in a 350° oven before serving.