Do you like biscuits?

Oh, I suppose I should specify which biscuits — the kind we in America serve hot with butter and maybe gravy, or the kind you are served in the British Isles usually with tea? The word comes from French “bescuit,” derived from the Latin words “bis” and “coquere,” meaning twice and cooked respectively. Actually, neither we in the colonies nor cooks in the Isles really twice-bake either kind. However, biscuits were originally cooked in a two-fold process to be crisp.

The biscuits I am writing about today are the American kind that are usually thought of as being only found in the South. Last week, I gave you a recipe for sausage gravy and said it was wonderful served over hot homemade biscuits.

Today, I am sharing several biscuit recipes. The first is my favorite. It comes from a book called, “Georgia on My Menu.” It was given to me years ago by Wyvonne Jarvis.

Duke Dining Hall Biscuits2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening. To do so, you can use a pastry blender, the food processor or two table knives. Add the milk all at once and stir only slightly. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or plastic wrap. Knead very gently for only a few seconds. Roll into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter or a small glass. Dip the cutter into flour before each cut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown. Makes 8-12 biscuits, depending on the size of the cutter.

I will admit that I like made-from-scratch cooking best of all, but I have several good ways to use baking mix (like Pioneer or Bisquick) for recipes. The first — and my favorite — is a recipe I have shared with you several times over the years. It was given to me at least 40 years ago by Nancy Wright.

Corn Biscuits2 cups baking (biscuit) mix

2/3 cup cream style corn

1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir in baking mix and corn only until mixture is moistened. Drop into well-greased miniature muffin tins. Drizzle butter over biscuits before they are baked. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Makes 24 miniatures.

Copycat Cheese BiscuitsThis recipe is a version of the cheese-herb biscuits served at some restaurants. It is an easy and good recipe.

2 cups buttermilk baking mix

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix baking mix, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Mix butter, garlic powder, and parsley. Brush over hot biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 8 biscuits.

I really am not fond of canned biscuits, but I will admit to having used them. Of course, there are many different versions of them now. I still prefer the biscuits from the recipes I gave you today.

However, there is one thing I thought was kind of fun about canned biscuits. My children (and I) always thought it was exciting to hit the can of biscuits on the kitchen counter to pop it open. Well, the thrill is gone. The can now has a warning that says to use a spoon to open the can.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.