This recipe will be a great addition to your arsenal of addictive holiday appetizers. The dish’s base is our cheese straw dough, with the addition of browned breakfast sausage. The cheese and sausage biscuits are great on their own—or you can jazz them up a bit as we did for this variation. The addition of the pepper jelly turns the biscuit into a rich, savory Linzer cookie. The sweet heat of the jelly helps balance the richness of the sausage and cheese. And you should make more than you need to: You’re probably going to eat a few before your guests even arrive!
Chef: Jasper Alexander
Saratoga Bite: Cheese and Sausage Biscuits
Cheese and Sausage Biscuits
(yields 75 biscuits)
½ lb. Bulk breakfast sausage, browned
¼ lb. Butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, room temperature
1 lb. Grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1½ c. Flour
¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. Red pepper flakes
½ tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 350°F and gather 2 large baking trays.
Cook sausage in a medium Teflon pan over moderate heat until the sausage is cooked but not brown. Drain cooked sausage in a colander and allow to cool.
With a stand mixer, cream the butter with the paddle attachment until it’s light yellow, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cheese to the bowl and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer with its beater attachment will work, as will beating the cheese and butter together with a wooden spoon. (This will take a little longer, but the results will be fine.)
Add the flour, cayenne, red pepper flakes and salt and work into the dough with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and continue to work until everything is well combined and the mixture comes together to form a dough ball. Add the cooked and cooled sausage and combine evenly.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press into a uniform rectangle about 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into individual strips about 1-1½ inches wide, and roll on the cutting board to form round logs. Place all of the logs in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Remove the logs and slice them into round coins about ¼ inch thick. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the baked biscuits to cool and then add pepper jelly, if you so choose. If you’re not going to serve them immediately, store biscuits in an airtight container.