Old-fashioned Cheese Biscuits

Cheese Biscuit

I recently made a hundred-year-old recipe for Cheese Biscuits. The recipe was simple to make and the biscuits were tasty. My husband said, “You should make these again sometime,” which is high praise from him.  This recipe is a keeper.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Cheese Biscuits
Source: The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1923)

When I made this recipe, I used shortening rather than lard. Here is the recipe for Baking Powder Biscuits that the Cheese Biscuits recipe refers to:

Recipe for Baking Powder Biscuits
Source: The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1923)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cheese Biscuits

  • Servings: approximately 6 biscuits
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1 cup bread flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon lard or shortening

1/2 tablespoons butter, softened

3/8 cup milk and water in equal parts (3/16 cup milk + 3/16 cup water) (Don’t worry if the proportions aren’t exactly the same for the milk and water. It will turn out fine even it they are not.)

1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar cheese.)

Preheat oven to 425° F. Mix the dry ingredients together; cut (work) in the lard or shortening and butter using fingers, pastry blender, or food processor.  Gradually add the milk and water mixture while mixing with a knife or spoon.  Continue adding liquid until there is a soft dough. Add grated cheese, and gently stir until the cheese is evenly distributed.  The amount of water needed varies depending upon the type of flour. On a floured board, pat or roll the dough until 1/2 -inch thick. Cut with a round biscuit cutter. (I used a glass as the cutter.) Place on greased baking sheet, and bake for 12- 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm.


Hundred-year-old Caramel Biscuits Recipe

Caramel Biscuits is the name of a recipe that I found in a hundred-year-old magazine, but the recipe name may be a misnomer.  This is a dessert or snack pastry, not the typical biscuit.

Caramel Biscuits are similar to cinnamon rolls, but contain no cinnamon. Instead nutmeg provides a more nuanced and sophisticated flavor when combined with the rich brown sugar filling that is embedded between each layer of bread. They are made using baking powder, rather than yeast, so are quick and easy to make.

Here is the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (July, 1917)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Caramel Biscuits

  • Servings: approximately 2 - 2 1/2 dozen 1 1/2-inch in diameter biscuits
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon lard (or use 2 tablespoons butter)

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup water


Preheat oven to 400° F.  Put the brown sugar and butter in a bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.

Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, then stir together. Cut in the butter and lard, then add water and milk. Mix using a fork until dough starts to cling together. If needed, add additional water. Divide into two balls.  Put one ball put on a floured pastry board. Roll into a 1/4 inch-thick rectangle approximately 6 inches X 10 inches. Spread one-half of the brown sugar mixture on the rectangle of dough. Rolling from the wide side, roll up the dough, and then cut into 3/4″ slices. Place slices in a greased 10″ inch round (or similar-sized) pan. There should be about 1/4″ space between each slice. Repeat with the second ball of dough, again putting the slices in the pan. Sprinkle each slice with nutmeg.

Place in oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan. Serve either warm or cold.