A time honored Southern tradition, the infamous “Cat Head” biscuit has become as much an icon of southern cooking as fried chicken. Just say the words “Cat Head Biscuits” almost anywhere in the South and you will instantly conjure up memories childhood and of mouthwateringly delicious meals.
Born of humble beginnings, the “Cat Head Biscuit” was never anything fancy. Just a few simple ingredients, usually mixed and “patted” out by hand, these delicacies bring back wonderful memories like no other food can.
What makes a “Cat Head Biscuit” so special; it’s just a biscuit after all, right? I can’t honestly say why they are loved so much or why just the mention of the name sparks such comforting memories. Maybe it’s the thoughts of our mothers and grandmothers standing in hot kitchens, over wood burning stoves, lovingly preparing food for their families or maybe it’s that first bite fresh from the oven. This is the very definition of “Comfort Food”. From that first savory taste of butter as you bite through the crispy crust to the soft, warm inside; you know you are in for a real treat!
As in days gone by, the “Cat Head Biscuit” is enjoyed with almost every meal. In fact this versatile bread can easily be eaten in a different way with every meal or become a meal in itself.
Here are just a few ways to enjoy them:
Aside from the usual biscuit filled with various homemade jams and jellies, we sometimes eat them hot from the oven, filled with a generous amount of brown sugar and butter. The butter melts over the brown sugar and creates a breakfast food that no store-bought brown sugar and cinnamon toaster pastry can even touch. This is what my grandmother would fix me for breakfast as a child.
Split open or torn into small pieces and smothered with one of the delicious southern gravies such as Chocolate Gravy, Sausage Gravy, or one of the homemade fresh “Fruit Jams”.
Not much in the world of food is as good as a sandwich made out of a big ol’ “Cat Head Biscuit” with a large slice of a ripe, red tomato and a little salt or with a slice of pork tenderloin or ham.
“Cat Head” biscuits also make great desserts when served warm and covered with your favorite berries, ice cream, and whipped cream. This is also a very easy way to make a wonderful strawberry shortcake.
Another way I remember eating them was to cream butter and honey or butter and molasses together and spread over the hot biscuits.
The list goes on and on. Bake up a big ol’ batch for yourself and you will find that the “Cat Head Biscuit” is one of the most versatile and delicious foods ever to come out of your oven.
Cat Head Biscuits (as big as a cat’s head)
2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons of lard or shortening
About 1 cup of buttermilk
Sift the dry ingredients together and cut in the lard or shortening. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Pinch off about a lemon-sized ball of dough for each biscuit and pat out with your hands. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes at 450 degrees or until the tops are golden brown. Remove the biscuits form the oven and rub butter on the tops of the hot biscuits to coat.
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