Showing posts with label Bisquick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bisquick. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Best Ever 7 Up Biscuits - Tasty Tips on Making this Classic Recipe from Cleo Coyle

Because the word UP in Chinese sounds like the word for HAPPINESS, 7 Up is considered to be a lucky drink for weddings and other celebrationsa little piece of trivia Marc and I discovered while researching our 11th Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill, which features some fun (and tasty) sleuthing in New York's Chinatown.

With the Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year) coming up in a few weeks, I thought it would be fun to share my version of the classic 7 Up Biscuits recipe. 
I don’t know how much luck these biscuits will bring you, but they will likely bring happiness to your taste buds. May you…

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Why "7 Up" Biscuits?

I know what some of you may be thinking:

Why use 7 Up (or any lemon-lime soda)
in a baking-powder biscuit recipe?

In my view, there are two reasons... 

1 - Carbonation: The soda boosts the lightness and fluffiness of your biscuits' interiors, and...

2 - Flavor: No, the flavor of lemon-lime is not something you will taste in the final product. (I promise, I mean, who wants a lemon-lime baking powder biscuit?) What the 7 Up does is boost the overall flavor by subtly underlining the slight tang of the sour cream. Together these flavors provide complexity, helping your quickly-made boxed-mix biscuits taste more like granny's old-fashioned buttermilk biscuits.

My version of this recipe tweaks the classic ingredients, but my biggest change to the common approach is saving you time and mess. I don't turn the dough out onto a board and knead it with my hands, for example, and I don't pre-cut every biscuit and lay each out in the pan. If you're also looking for the best results from the fastest method, you might like this version, too... 

What I do is bake the biscuits as a single, square slab, which allows the interiors to bake up all the more higher and fluffier. Then I cut the big slab with a pizza cutter, making heavenly squares. My husband loves these biscuits. I hope you do to, too.

Now let's get cookin'...

Click here for
the recipe PDF.
To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Cleo's 7 Up Biscuits
My version of the classic recipe

Makes 9 square biscuits using an 8 x 8 baking pan 


5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (unsalted butter is fresher than salted, but you can certainly use salted butter for this recipe, simply reduce the salt by half)

2 cups Bisquick** baking mix (lightly pack it into the cup and level it off)

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (again, if using salted butter, reduce by half)

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

1/2 cup 7 Up freshly opened, not diet*


*Although Sprite or another lemon-lime soda will work for this recipe, the Chinese consider 7 Up good luck!

**Bisquick also makes a "Heart Smart" version of their regular product with zero trans fat. I have not tested this version of their product with this recipe, so I cannot tell you if it gives the same results, but I plan to try it in the near future.


STEP 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Be sure it's well preheated for the best results. While the oven is preheating, drop the cold butter into a nonstick 8 x 8 baking pan and pop it into the oven for about 2 minutes. When the butter is close to melted, pull out the hot pan and let it finish melting outside of the oven (to ensure the butter does not burn). Now measure out 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a small bowl and set it aside to cool. Meanwhile… 

STEP 2: Into a medium size mixing bowl, measure out the Bisquick as described in the ingredients (by lightly packing it into the cup and leveling it off). Get out a butter knife and stir in the salt (use half the amount if using salted butter).

Now add the sour cream and the 2 tablespoons of melted butter that you reserved from step 1. Using your trusty butter knife, "cut" these ingredients into the dry Bisquick. See my photos. The dough should appear crumbly.  

STEP 3: Open a new 7 Up for the best carbonation. Pour the 1/2 cup of soda into the bowl and stir it, as shown, using the butter knife until everything is combined.

Now switch to a big spoon or spatula and very vigorously stir this mixture for 20 to 30 seconds. No kidding, count as you stir and you'll notice the dough will begin to stiffen up, forming the gluten that will give your biscuits structure. 

When is it ready? When you pull your spoon or rubber spatula away the dough should come with it, feeling elastic like bread or pizza dough (see my photo below). If your dough does not do this, keep vigorously stirring until it does.

STEP 4: For best results, pop your 8 x 8 pan with melted butter back in the oven for one minute (no more) to really warm it up. This will give you the very best rise for your biscuits. Be careful now, the pan will be hot. Pour the stiff dough into the melted butter of your hot pan. Be sure to use all the dough, scraping the bowl well with a rubber spatula.

(Use an oven mitt to hold the pan and...) Quickly flatten out the dough with your spoon or spatula, stretching it to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. The dough does not have to touch the four sides of the pan, but it should be fairly close to them, as shown in my photos.

STEP 5: Immediately place the pan in your well preheated oven. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes. The edges will be golden brown and crusty, and the top should show touches of light golden browning. The top will also show some cracking.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and 

5 minutes out of the pan
before cutting...

Can you see the *heart* in my biscuits?
Yes, folks, I really do cook with love!

COOL IN THE PAN for at least 5 full minutes. Why? The insides are still baking in the hot pan so this is an important step.

DE-PANNING: Because of the melted butter base, the biscuit square will slip right out. Remove it like you would a layer of cake by placing a plate over the top of the pan and flipping it. Yes, the bottom of the baked biscuit square will appear golden brown and crusty. But trust me, the inside will be amazingly light and fluffy. 

COOL OUT OF THE PAN: Allow the big square to cool for another 5 minutes before cutting. Trust me, those fluffy insides are retaining a lot of heat and will still be hot when you eat them, even after 10 total minutes of cooling.

CUTTING TIPS: For best results, flip the big biscuit right side up again, and you will have an easier time cutting your individual biscuits. Use a pizza cutter for the cleanest, best-looking slices. Then slather on butter, honey, or jam; dip into hot gravy; or split and fill for an amazing biscuit sandwich.

Presentation Note

If you're serving these to guests or your family, you can keep the biscuit slab whole and slice it up right at the table (as shown above). This makes a fun, somewhat more theatrical presentation of your beautiful biscuits. This method also has the advantage of staying hot much longer than individual biscuits so you have time to get the rest of the meal on the table. 

Golden and crusty on the outside.
Fluffy and light on the inside.

Click here to download
this recipe as a PDF.

Eat with joy 

Stay cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

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Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

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Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gluten Free Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe

Thank you to all for your good wishes (to my alter ego Daryl Wood Gerber) regarding the Agatha Award nomination for best short story in  FISH TALES. She is (I am) very excited.

And congratulations to all the others on our blog with nominations: Krista for best novel and best short story and Lucy for best short story. We're having a ball writing, aren't we?!!!

Thank you, too, to all the readers who bought Clobbered by Camembert. It's been out a week and has done very well on the national scale. I'm thrilled (and so are the characters in the book...they get to have more tales.)

And now...

Do you love brown sugar? I do. It's like syrup (and/or bacon, depending on your mood). It makes everything taste better. It's a comfort food. I know I shouldn't over-indulge in refined sugar, but truly, I need to have my sweets. [This might be a gluten-free girl thing. We don't get very many carbs on a regular basis, so those sweets...]  Whenever I'm writing, around 10:30 in the morning, I need a "fix" of sweets and a cup of coffee. It takes me to the next level and tides me over until lunch.  [By the way, just checked out this phrase to make sure I was right. A site says: The idea is that of the swelling tide, which will carry you over some obstacle, with the implication that it won’t require effort on your part.]

Back to sweets.  One of my favorite all-time coffee cakes is a Bisquick coffee cake [on the box]. I remember a time when I was, well, (breathing deeply) anorexic. Before it was "chic." It was a real problem and one that my parents didn't know how to address (nor did I; I was 14 and struggling with emotional issues, Type A issues, and a sister who was going astray issues). I stopped eating for about 2 months, other than the basics: a piece of white fish (yeah, I like white fish), a cup of tea, a piece of toast, a frozen malted for lunch (because I could buy those at school and they cooled me down).  Terrible diet!!! I know!!! But I didn't know what else to do, and nobody knew I was doing this. Let's just say some people were having their own issues.

Anyway, I was at my dad's house (yep, product of divorce but my parents were both good people and raised me right) and Dad had made a Bisquick coffee cake. I woke up, inhaled the aroma, and wow! He and my stepmother were out gardening, so I sat down at the table and started to read the comics and do a crossword puzzle--still two of my favorite pastimes. At the same time, I nibbled. By the end, I ate the whole 9x9 coffee cake and a drank a quart of milk. I didn't realize I had. Honestly. My dad and stepmom came into the house and jumped with joy. I was eating again!

Thus sprouted my great love of sweets. Comfort foods. [I've learned a little self-discipline since them. After all, I am a Type A. Argh!]

But brown sugar is the key. It's not just any sweet. Brown sugar is key for me.

Now, I can't use Bisquick any longer, and though Bisquick makes a gluten-free mix (which is great), I wanted to tweak. You know me. :)

So here it is. My mishmash of a great coffee cake adding ricotta cheese and bananas. Oh, wow. The extra moistness is super.



2 cups mixed gluten-free flours (*tapioca starch, potato starch, sweet rice flour - your choice)
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, large
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp. cider vinegar


1/2 cup brown sugar
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon

4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the filling ingredients of sugar, banana and cinnamon, and set aside.

For the batter:  Mix melted butter and sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs and beat on low.  Still beating on low, add ricotta cheese and vinegar.  Then add flours, baking powder and xanthan gum.

Spoon half of the batter into a greased loaf pan.  Layer all of the brown sugar-banana filling on top of that.  Spread the rest of the batter over the filling. Cut the batter with a knife, in a swirling fashion.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, when inserted a toothpick comes out clean.  When cool, remove the cake from the pan and sprinkle with a generous amount of brown sugar.  [You could serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or more of the banana and brown sugar mixture.]

By the way, if you know (or suspect) any of your loved ones are anorexic, please check out this site. You could be saving a life!

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