Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits

My friend Garrett was over the other day, and made for me these fabulous cheddar jalapeño biscuits. I’ve since made them several times and each time they disappear within minutes. They are surprisingly light in texture and crumb, given the amount of cheese and cream.

The secret ingredient? A quarter cup of cornmeal or polenta added to the flour. Just that amount lends a slight crunch to the biscuit, without making it gritty. The cornmeal of course works beautifully with the jalapeños and cheddar cheese. Garrett tops the biscuits with extra grated cheddar, giving them an even more cheesy edge. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack, or served alongside a hot bowl of chili.

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Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 10-12 biscuits.

Taste the jalapeño. If too mild, include the seeds, if hot, use just the flesh, not the seeds. Adjust the amount to taste. Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese can also be substituted for the cheddar.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (45g) polenta or fine milled corn meal
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups packed, 170g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (1 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons diced fresh jalapeños (more or less to taste)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream (200ml), plus extra for brushing

Method

1 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, salt, sugar, cayenne, and baking powder. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the grated cheddar cheese and the diced jalapeños.

2 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the cream into the center of the well and your (clean) hands to gently bring together the ingredients. If you need to add a bit more cream then do so a tiny trickle at a time. You just want everything to get wet enough so that the dough will be sticky and clumpy.

3 Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead the dough just a few times - maybe only three or four pushes. You just want it to come together. (Over-kneading will result in firmer, denser biscuits.)

cheddar-jalapeno-biscuits-5.jpg cheddar-jalapeno-biscuits-6.jpg

4 Form the dough into a disc about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter (or a small juice glass) to cut round biscuit shapes out of the disk. Combine the leftover dough and keep forming small round biscuit shapes until the dough is used up.

5 Place on a Silpat-lined or parchment lined baking sheet, with at least an inch or two between the biscuits. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little more cream. Top the biscuits with a sprinkle of the remaining cheese.

6 Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 11-12 minutes or until golden and the cheese is nicely melted.

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Cheddar Jalapeño Biscuits
Garrett makes these biscuits as scones. Either shape works great!

42 Comments

  1. Zeeona @ Basil and Strawberry

    Wow, these look very yummy, thank you!

  2. Rossella

    Hi Elise! Do you think that chipotle would make a good variant? thanks!

    It would be worth a try. Love the smoky flavor of chipotle. ~Elise

  3. Sheila

    Fer reals….Elise. These look so good. I want to make chili and make them right now!

  4. Michaelene

    Elise, these look delish and just in time for the cooler weather of fall. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

  5. Julie

    I love Garrett’s recipes! Thanks for sharing!Can’t wait to make these with a nice big pot of chili this weekend!

  6. Lesley

    These look amazing. And I was already planning on making chili tonight. Do you think it would be okay to use half and half? I have a giant container that needs to be used up soon. Thank you for all the fantastic recipes! Our dinners come from your recipes at least once or twice/week if not more!

    Hi Lesley, I think it would work. Try it and let us know how it goes! ~Elise

  7. merd

    If you don’t have heavy cream, but had whole milk on hand, could you reduce the amount of liquid there and add some other form of fat? (lard or crisco as substitute for part of the heavy cream) Trying to improvise without having to go to the store ;)

    Perhaps you could cut some butter into the flour before adding the milk? ~Elise

  8. Carma Christensen

    Elise–would you check the ingredient list? These looked so good, but ended up way too sweet for the cheese/jalapeno taste, and had a very distinct baking powder aftertaste. And I actually followed the recipe faithfully for a change because I had company coming. I’ll be looking for a similar concept, but I can’t help but think there was an error somewhere.

    Hi Carma, the sugar is the correct amount, but I am so sorry about the baking powder. You are right! There was a typo in the ingredient list. It should have read 2 teaspoons, not 2 tablespoons. My sincerest apologies to you and to anyone who had a problem with the recipe because of too much baking powder. The recipe has been corrected. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention! ~Elise

  9. daniele, DaniCucina

    wow!these look amazing! :-) Have a nice day,”ciao”(bye bye)!! :-)

  10. Kim K.

    Fresh or pickled jalapenos? These sound amazing. They would be perfect with a bowl of soup tonight.

    Fresh, but I suppose you could use pickled. Rinse them first. ~Elise

  11. Kelly

    I made these for my kids, but rather than jalapeno, used grated carrot and beetroot (1/2 cup combined). Totally different flavour of course, but a big hit and a useful base recipe for those trying to get kids to eat more veggies.

  12. Jodi

    Oh these look awesome. I love Kelly’s idea for getting veggies into the kidlets too.I’m just imagining the colors with grated carrots and beets. Wow.

  13. Karen

    I just made these using jalapenos from my garden. Delicious and addictive!

  14. Linda Alexander

    Could Corn Mesa flour be used instead of corn meal? Guess it’s worth a shot?! They look sinfully dlish! Thank you so very much! =)

    Now that’s an idea. Worth a try! ~Elise

  15. Liz @ Virtually Homemade

    You make the simplest pictures beautiful! These wouldn’t last long in my house!

  16. Kristen

    Could not have come at a more perfect time. Cooler weather means soup, and our CSA basket this week includes fresh jalapeno peppers! Thanks!

  17. Myla

    I like jalapeno, but for the sake of my husband’s reflux disease, would these be ok without the jalapeno at all? I noticed someone had subbed it out for carrots and beetroot, but I was just thinking of completely omitting it altogether. Thoughts?

    Sure, just leave out the chiles. ~Elise

  18. Michele

    Was so excited to make these biscuits but frankly they turned out so bland! Followed recipe exactly… Kept thinking they were missing something… Then realized, yes! Butter! Checked every other blog for similar recipes and all call for butter. These were only ok.

    There’s no butter in these biscuits. Just a lot of cream, and cheese. If the biscuits were bland, and they certainly shouldn’t have been, I would check the cheese you were using, as well as the jalapeños. Sharp cheddar is strongly flavored and the flavor of the biscuits should reflect that. And the chiles should be checked too. I’ve been finding more and more jalapeños in the market that have no more taste than a green bell pepper, so you always need to taste test your jalapeños before using. One more thing. Don’t forget to add the salt the recipe calls for. ~Elise

  19. Yasmin

    These look delicious! Can these be made in advance, kept refrigerated and then baked before serving?

    No, the leavening starts as soon as you mix the wet and the dry ingredients. They need to be baked as soon as they are mixed and formed. ~Elise

    • Sara Robinson Chambless

      I wonder if the dough could be prepared and quickly frozen? You could keep them frozen until baking, baste them, and add a by of cooking time. I think I will try this and let you know how it goes for my dinner party tomorrow night, unless you think this is a bad idea.

  20. marykistre

    How do you make the scone shape?

    Shape the dough into a circle, then cut it like a pie. Then arrange the triangle pie shaped pieces onto a baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart, and bake. ~Elise

  21. Carrie

    I made these as soon as I read this post. They are very yummy and exactly as explained. Loved the texture! I even made a few sans jalepenos for my little ones.
    Thanks for your great recipes!

  22. Tony

    If I wanted to do a ‘skillet’ version of this could I just put the dough in a cast iron pan and toss it in the oven, rather than cutting out biscuits?

    Maybe. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  23. Delphine

    We made these with our jalapeños from the garden and jalapeño jack cheese. They were delicious – came out with a lovely light texture and fantastic flavor! Particularly excellent straight out of the oven with some butter… The only change I made was to cut the sugar by a tbsp (not into sweet biscuits). Excellent recipe – thank you!

  24. Caroline

    I do believe the roasted tomato soup recipe will be made tomorrow evening and served with these in our household!! Thank you so much for the recipes you share, they’ve really saved my family from a lot of bland and boring meals!

  25. Anita

    I made these using half & half and canned jalapenos. Also precooked two sausage patties, cut them up and threw that in as well. I omitted the salt altogether because the sausage was somewhat salty. It was simply delicious!

  26. Beth

    These were super yummy. The kids loved them, as did the adults. I was in a hurry and made them as scones, and they turned out great.

  27. Bill Harris

    These biscuits sound delicious. I think I might try them as a topping to a chicken pot pie. Thanks for sharing this!

    That’s a great idea Bill, thanks! ~Elise

  28. Tony

    These turned out great in the cast iron, with one caveat; the edges of my dough were rather thin and didn’t quite reach the sides of my very large pan, so they weren’t as moist as the center. Otherwise, these were quite delicious and I liked being able to cut my own portions right from the pan.

  29. Marieta

    These look delish. I am making them as we speak but I’m having an issue– how do you get 10-12 biscuits out of this recipe??? I’ve only made 3 and I’m out of dough!! They are 3/4″ thick. What did I do wrong?? I followed the recipe to a T.

    I would make smaller circles. ~Elise

  30. kristen

    Just had them for dinner tonight – in the 50s and raining buckets–with our roasted red pepper and tomato soup (from Trader Joes, not home made). We had jalapenos from our CSA and this is how I chose to use them. Batch #2 is in the oven right now. I plan to make them again and again…wonderful recipe!!

  31. Nunu's Kitchen

    This recipe is fantastic! I love the jalapeno and cheese combo. It was hard to limit myself to just one!

  32. Kacie

    I made these tonight to go with a Cooking Light recipe for broccoli cheese soup – they were DELICIOUS, Elise. The perfect amount of heat with a tiny bit of sweet from the sugar and cornmeal. Thanks so much for sharing.

  33. Jeremy

    Could I use buttermilk instead of cream? Or would that be too much with the sharpness of the cheddar?

  34. Lyss

    Just made these the other night to go with a pot of chili. Delicious, and oh-so-easy! The corn meal gave them just enough heft to stand up to the chili – thanks!

  35. Rosheal Coplan

    I would like to know if you could use frozen jalapenos instead of fresh? I have about 2 1/2 gallons of frozen jalapenos that I need recipes in order to use all of them! Please help!

  36. Sam

    can I add coconut milk instead of fresh cream?

    • Elise

      Hi Sam, I haven’t tried subbing the cream with coconut milk, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  37. sam

    Sure.. i will let you know. For my many recipes I use coconut milk instead of fresh cream.

  38. Lasey

    After baking and cooling, how would to store? I doubt these will hang around for very long, but just in case we have leftovers….

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