Desperation Dinners: Cheese biscuits tasty tradition

Old-fashioned cheese biscuits

Alicia Ross for Desperation Dinn

I marvel at the way great recipes are passed from generation to generation. Some of my favorite recipes are the ones my grandmother and my mom shared with me years ago. One of my absolute favorites is my mom's Peanut Butter Cookies, which is on for all to enjoy.

Today's recipe is just that sort of recipe, and it comes from my girlfriend Lane's mom, Mona Ellis. I call them Mona's Incredible Cheese Biscuits.

At my church, where we all attend, they are known through every generation. If we're hosting a brunch or morning snacks between services, you can hear the murmurs that Mona brought her biscuits before the last amen is spoken. Her platters are inevitably the first to empty; they really are that good.

So in celebration of moms, young and old, here is another mother-to-daughter recipe, Mona's Incredible Cheese Biscuits. You'll want to grab the scissors for this one. It will be one of those recipes you want to pass down from generation to generation.

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Makes about three dozen

2 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup sour cream (see cook's note)

2 cups self-rising flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt (see cook's note)

Cook's note: Mona first found a similar recipe to inspire her in a local Junior League cookbook years ago. But the exact cookbook has long since vanished, so we'll credit her with all the home-cooked goodness as her own.

If you use self-rising flour, be sure that it has not expired. The date is printed on the bag. Same goes for your baking powder. Check the bottom of the can before using. Old baking powder or self-rising flour will make your biscuits doughy little slabs.

The recipe is best with regular sour cream, but if you use reduced fat, the texture will be softer.

Preheat the oven to 425. Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into mini muffin pans a tablespoon at a time. Bake for 10 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool for five minutes on wire racks. Can be prepared ahead and frozen for up to a month. Thaw on the counter, and reheat wrapped in foil for 10 minutes or until warmed through if desired. Also completely delicious eaten at room temperature.

Approximate values per serving: 105 calories (71 percent from fat), 8g fat (5g saturated), 23mg cholesterol, 2g protein, 6g carbohydrates, trace dietary fiber, 168mg sodium.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" Contact them at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, or send e-mail to Or visit the Desperation Dinners website at