I have not been to a Red Lobster restaurant since I was in high school; which is to say, I haven’t been to one in well over 15 years. That’s a long time, but for better or for worse, I have a pretty stellar memory. My taste buds do, too. They won’t allow me to forget cheddar bay biscuits. If you’ve never been to a Red Lobster, cheddar bay biscuits are what are placed on the table prior to your meal arriving. They’re the equivalent of the bread basket at other restaurants. Except that these aren’t any ordinary biscuits. These are loaded with cheddar cheese and garlic, and they have a little kick. In other words, they are hopelessly addicting.
I’ve had it in my mind to make a homemade version for years, but never got around to it. A few months ago, my cousin texted me to see if I had a recipe for them. I told him I didn’t, but that I would do some searching around for him to find a recipe that sounded good. I turned up very few promising results. Almost every recipe started with a packaged baking mix, which I wanted to avoid. The lack of options gave me the extra motivation I needed to get my own recipe testing started.
The biscuits I ended up creating are simple drop biscuits, take less than 10 minutes to pull together, have tons of cheddar cheese and garlic flavor, and just enough cayenne to give them a little kick. They’re light, fluffy and full of amazing flavor. I wanted to eat every single one as soon as they came out of the oven.
No need to head out to a restaurant to get biscuits in a basket; you can whip them up in your own kitchen just as easily!
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar cheese; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top back at room temperature for up to 3 days.