Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

Gramercy Tavern Restaurant Recipe

1/2 cup diced slab bacon (about 3 ounces)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned but not crunchy, about 6 minutes. Drain the bacon on a paper towel–lined plate and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne with a rubber spatula. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat with the flour mixture, then flatten the pieces of butter between your fingertips. Flattening the bits of butter to mix them with the flour helps produce a really tender biscuit. Stir in the bacon and cheese. Add the cream and mix with the spatula until just combined.

Divide the dough into about 50 tablespoon-sized pieces and shape into balls, handling the dough as little as possible. Put the balls about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. (The dough balls can be frozen at this point; once hard, transfer them to a freezer container for up to 2 weeks.)

Bake until golden and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes (add a few minutes if frozen). Brush with the melted butter and serve hot or at room temperature. Makes about 50 biscuits.