Soooo. The original name for this snack is apparently Cheddar Bay Biscuits, served at Red Lobster (in the US. I’ve lived in the US but unfortunately I have no recollection of going to one or hearing about it. I was a toddler, after all.), but Emily from Joyful Abode wrote a recipe for it, and called it Cheesy Garlic Biscuits. Someone here just called it cucur cheese, because cucur (pronounced choo-cho) are these … traditional fried dumpling things (sometimes with shrimp or anchovies or potatoes, etc.), and these biscuits sort of look like them. Except they’re baked, of course.
They are very yummy, cheesy and salty-garlicy, a little bit bread-like but mostly cucur-ish, really. Great for picnic snacks or appetizers or potluck gatherings.
Emily’s recipe used a buttermilk biscuit mix, which we don’t have here, so I’ve modified the recipe to be made from scratch, by means of some Googling for buttermilk biscuit recipes. I made a double batch at the time the following photos were taken, but I’ll write the recipe for one batch. Here goes:
What you need
Butter. Good to have one block of it (250g) although you won't use it all. Unsalted is fine too.
3/4 cup of buttermilk. Now, before I discovered this recipe, I had no idea of the existence of such a thing. It looks kinda like milk but thicker and with a buttery smell. They are sold in supermarkets right next to the sour cream and whipping cream. If you can't find this, there are alternatives below.
Buttermilk substitutes by Good Life Eats. I agree with Katie that they’re not as good as the real deal (with the cucurs, I find that the texture comes out a bit different), but taste-wise inshaAllah it’s not gonna turn out bad or anything.
Plain flour, 2 cups of it.
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of baking powder.
Some salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder (may be labelled as garlic granules), 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, and oregano (these two ingredients will not go into the dough, but into the butter to be brushed in the end).
Dry ingredients go into a bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt if you used unsalted butter.
Oh and garlic powder/granules. As I said, I used more since this was a double batch. Do you like our lime green measuring spoons?
Next is cutting the butter into the flour. I read this tip online, that whenever a recipe says to do that, a shortcut is to grate the hard, cold butter using a cheese grater. This just "cuts" the butter into small pieces easily. So that's what I did. (Though the butter has softened quite a bit by the time I grated it, eheh.) It's about 6 tablespoons (apparently 86g) of butter, into the dry ingredients.
And you crumble it all up into the flour till the flour has a uniform, yellow tinge.
Then you dump all the grated cheese and mix some more. Mixer / wooden spoon / spatula / fingers, as long as they're clean, doesn't matter.
Ooh. Wet ingredient. So you make a well in the middle of your dough and pour in the buttermilk, but not all at once. Just in case the dough will turn out too liquidy.
Slowly mix them together, adding more buttermilk till the dough can hold itself into a ball.
Like this. I've actually made the dough more cookie-dough-like (ie. softer / stickier) before, and it worked just fine too, but I prefer rolling the dough into balls rather than using tablespoons to drop them, hence the drier dough.
I think I forgot to tell you to pre-heat the oven. But you can do that now. So 200°C or slightly lower. Make balls with the dough (size should be smaller than what I did there, but I was lazy ), flatten them a little bit, and place on a lined baking tray, with generous gaps in between.
Oven, middle rack. 10 minutes on the timer.
If you don't have enough baking trays to drop all the dough, you could always do this and leave them in the mixing bowl till the oven-batch is done.
While the first batch is still baking, you'll need to make the melted butter mix. It's two tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons oregano, and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, stick it all in the microwave (low heat). Go easy on the garlic salt, especially if it's salted butter.
When the 10-minute timer goes off, take out the semi-done cucurs. They will look somewhat like this.
Use a pastry brush to brush the butter onto each cucur and pop them back into the oven for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Oooo pretty. I like to take the baking paper off of the tray (so it doesn't keep cooking the bottoms) and leave them to cool for a bit, so the cucurs can be easily removed.
This is what the texture is like.
Keep going, and you'll have a full jar of it to happily munch on. Yay.
The end! Thanks very much to the original recipe-writers. Toodles!