Cacio e Pepe Drop Biscuits

HOLY guacamole. Schedule some gym time before or after you make these guys.

Cacio e Pepe is my favorite dish of all time. If you’ve never heard of it, its a Roman pasta dish with TONS of fresh ground black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese.  It’s SO simple that its almost impossible to find a place that makes it perfectly. The spicy black pepper and the salty, nutty cheese is an addictive combination, and I thought, why not throw it into some biscuits and see what happens!? These are the kind of ideas that pop into my head at precisely 5:30 am.

Magic. We ate these for breakfast with some fluffy scrambled eggs and bacon. They are SO good by themselves, but also magical with a drizzle of honey on the top. I know honey sounds weird with a savory biscuit, but when I think of some of the best cheese boards I’ve ever had, there was honey involved. Try it and you’ll think I’m less repulsive, promise.

You don’t need to know how to bake to make this. You only need the ingredients listed below, and a food processor. To say these are easy would be the understatement of the century.

I only ask one thing: USE FRESH GROUND BLACK PEPPER. Don’t use the crap that comes out of a shaker. Either use a pepper mill and grind it, or do what I do (the cheaper option) buy whole black peppercorns and grind them with a coffee grinder. Yes, there is a huge difference. And this way, you know the only thing in your pepper is, well…pepper.

 

Ingredients: This makes 12-14 depending on how gargantuan you want to make them

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 and a half sticks) COLD butter cut into small pieces
  • 3 Teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano Reggiano (REAL parmesan) cheese if its easier to find. (please none of the jarred or pre shredded stuff.)
  • 1 1/4 cup Milk. (I used Almond milk, you can use regular, skim, whole, whatever)

Recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (best option). In a food processor, dump the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Pulse once or twice to mix together. Using a sharp knife and handling it as little as possible, dice the butter into small cubes- the key is to keep it as cold as possible. Throw it into the  food processor. 

    2. Pulse it several times (I had to do around 10-15 because I left my butter chunks so big.) Until the butter gets smaller and the mixture looks crumbly. Add in your Parmesan or Romano (whichever you could find) and your black pepper. Pulse a few times to combine and make sure the black pepper is running throughout the mixture.

     

    3. Add in your milk, VERY slowly while pulsing the mixture. When it forms a dough and you can hear the motor start to labor, its probably done. It shouldn’t be wet, or too sticky, but look similar to my photo below on the right.

     

    4. Using two spoons, take out large clumps of dough and drop them onto the baking sheet. These don’t spread out much when you bake them so it’s okay for them to be close together. Remember these are rustic, they won’t look exactly the same. As a matter of fact, they’re kinda ugly bless their hearts. You should end up with 12 to 14 large biscuits.

     

    5. Stick them into the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the size of yours. If desired: after 10 minutes take the biscuits out and top with a light sprinkle of cheese, then place them back in the oven for 8-10 more minutes. For mine to be done, and the bottoms to be lightly browned, they took exactly 19 minutes.

     

    After 19 minutes, the bottoms of my drop biscuits were perfectly golden brown, they felt a little crumbly on the outside but perfectly tender on the inside.

     

     

    These are amazing on their own, sort of like a classier version of Red Lobsters famous cheese biscuits. No offense Red Lobster. But y’all, drizzle some honey on the top and you’ll be in heaven.

    IMG_5374

If you don’t have a food processor you could totally make these the old fashioned way. Go in the same order as my steps, use a pastry cutter to work the butter in, and a big spoon and some elbow grease while you drizzle the milk in.

I keep these in a large ziploc bag in my fridge, and pray that I forget about them so that I don’t eat them all in one day. Amen.

The ONLY baking sheets I use. I’ve had the same set for YEARS. Seriously.

My silicone baking mat: (you can find much cheaper versions sometimes at Marshalls/Homegoods and Target)

 

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