1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter; slightly softened
2 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour; plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk; plus 1 tablespoon
1. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and I tablespoon flour with a fork until well combined. Cover and chill in the freezer until cold, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, chill in the refrigeratorfor at least 1 hour or overnight.)
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or coat it with nonstick spray.
3. Sift remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, rub reserved cream-cheese paste into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and stir with a fork until just combined. (Dough will be quite soft.)
4. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead a few times. (Do not overwork.) Pat into a 3/4-inch-thick circle. With a floured 2-inch cutter, cut out biscuits and place on prepared baking sheet. Press dough scraps together and repeat to make 12 biscuits. Brush tops with remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk.
5. Bake biscuits for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
MAKES 1 DOZEN BISCUITS.
110 calories per biscuit; 3 grams protein; 3 grams fat(1.8 grams saturated fat); 18 grams carbohydrate; 230 mg sodium; 7 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fiber.
Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits: In Step 3, stir 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper into the dry ingredients before adding the cream-cheese paste. Then, in Step 4, sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan onto the buttermilk-brushed tops. Bake as directed. 125 calories and 4 grams fat per biscuit.
Caramelized Onion Biscuits: Saute 1 large thinly sliced onion with 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat until golden brown (add a little water if needed to prevent scorching). Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool. Stir onions into the dry ingredients in Step 3. Add 2/3 cup-rather than 3/4 cup buttermilk and form as directed. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon kosher salt evenly over biscuits and bake as directed. 125 calories and 4 grams fat per biscuit.
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