Cheesy Pepperoni Bites

My husband took up playing golf last summer with several of his friends, and he kinda got into it. Like tried to develop a really good handicap within a summer into it. And of course, if you know golf, you know this weekend is the Masters Tournament.

 

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One of the guys in his group decided it would be fun to host a potluck while the final round was going on today; so, guess who got to make the appetizer from our house, even though I could give two rat’s asses about golf.

Me? Last time I played golf was in college, and I did what my father taught me when I was a teenager, through example… I chucked the club into the woods after I’d sliced/hooked the ball pretty much every stroke 4 holes in.

I had to go get the ball out of the woods anyways, why in Hell not search for my golf club also.

Watching golf? It reminds me of my late grandfather and his late wife. One time my family went over to say hi without notification. We came upon them and my uncle sitting on the front porch, not even in rocking chairs, just staring out into the yard. No talking. Not listening to the radio. No reading a book.

Just the three of them staring out into the yard.

They epitomized watching the grass grow.

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Bless your heart if you love golf. I should probably take it up. Then I can bless my own heart.

I decided to go to a standby for a hot app: King Arthur Cheesy Pepperoni Bites. I want you think of way more flavorful Red Lobster cheddar biscuits with a spicy kick. AKA Cheesy Pepperoni Bites. I’ve left the links in because the cheese powder you may not be able to find through too many sources, and same with the pizza dough flavor. While the dough flavor isn’t essential, it does add another nice flavor profile.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Vermont cheese powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
  • 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning (+ 1/2 teaspoon to sprinkle atop the biscuits)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut in pats
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced (low-fat turkey pepperoni is fine)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, optional
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a bite-sized tart pan; a mini muffin pan, or a baking sheet. If using the pop-up tart pan, have an ungreased baking sheet available to use as a base.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, cheese powder, baking powder, salt, Pizza Dough Flavor, and pizza seasoning.
  3. Add the butter, working it in until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Add the pepperoni, shredded cheese, and scallions, mixing to distribute.
  5. Add the milk, mixing just until everything is evenly moistened.
  6. Scoop the dough by the level tablespoonful into the pop-up pan, or mini-muffin pan. Place the pop-up pan onto a baking sheet to catch any drips. For bigger bites, dollop the dough by heaping tablespoon scoops onto the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle the biscuits with 1/2 teaspoon pizza seasoning, or your favorite dried herbs.
  8. Bake the biscuits till they’re a medium to deep golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes.
  9. Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool briefly on a rack. Use a table knife to pop the bottom of the pan off the biscuits. Serve warm.
  10. Yield: 16 larger biscuits or 24 smaller appetizer-size biscuits.
  11. If you want to make now, bake later: these biscuits are a great candidate for the freezer. Simply make biscuits, shape, and place on a pan. Freeze, then transfer to a plastic bag for storage. When you’re ready to bake, remove them from the freezer, place on a pan, brush with cream, and bake as directed. They’ll take maybe 5 minutes longer, since they’re frozen.

My Thoughts After Making:

  1. Move over any other cheddar biscuit, these are the bomb!IMG_0660.JPG
  2. I didn’t even have good cheddar in my house. The cheese snob, aka my husband, went to the grocery story and bought the shitty shredded store brand. It was actually flavorless on its own and didn’t even feel that good to the touch. No matter…when you combine the pizza seasoning, cheese powder, and pepperoni, add the butter, and then bake it all together with even shitty shredded cheese, you make a bit of Heaven. A spicy bit of buttery, cheesy Heaven.
    1. Having said all that, really good cheese would make these even better. I think you could easily play with the shredded cheese(s) in this recipe. Have fun and let me know the results!
  3. I’ve made these with the pizza dough flavor and the scallions. I recommend both. Today I didn’t have those two things on hand (shocker), and the wee biscuits came out dee-lish. The addition of the scallions and the pizza dough flavor just add additional flavor layers of yumminess.
  4. It oddly doesn’t tell you whether to use room temp butter or cold butter. I used room temp butter and cold milk, and all was well.
  5. I’d recommend using a good stick pepperoni. Vermont Smoke & Cure is one of my favs, and they’re now a bit easier to find out and about. If you don’t have that, like Ina Garten says, the store bought kind will do fine. I happened to gave some good sandwich sized sliced pepperoni on hand, so I rolled it up, and cut it into smaller pieces. Worked lovely.
    1. In weaker moments, I’ve used those disgusting Hormel pepperoni bites, but when married with the other ingredients, it’s all good.
  6. I only had almond milk in the house, and it worked just fine here.
    1. ONLY stir enough to pull all the ingredients together. The more you stir, the more you develop the gluten, and the tougher the end result.
    2. Ever eaten a tough biscuit? If not, just go chew on a baseball. Same idea.
  7. Personally, I wouldn’t put these into any kind of a tin or enclosed pan. I’ve always made them like drop biscuits. Today I used my purple Zeroll scoop for appetizer sized biscuits, and they were perfectly sized for the crowd.
  8. These are best piping hot out of the oven, but pop them in the microwave if you have leftovers, for about 10-15 seconds…

Reactions from the crowd:

  1. “Interesting,” from the same person who hoarked down about 5 in a row.
  2. “Wow, these have a kick,” from the same person who ate about 3 in a row.
  3. “Delicious!”
  4. “A hole in one!”
    1. I almost vomited when I heard this one. My eyes hurt  from rolling into the back of my head.
  5. “Paige must have made these.”
    1. DUH.

“Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps.” – Tiger Woods

You can’t make this shit up. I found that on Haggin Oaks Golf Club blog.

 

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