There are few baked goods that whip together as fast as a batch of biscuits. Aside from the fact this version results in biscuits that are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, buttery and studded with smoky poblano pieces and nooks of melted sharp cheddar, what I love most about biscuits in general is how easy they are to make on the fly.

Usually how it begins is me heating up leftover soup or making a pot of something warm on the stove. At some point I think to myself, “Ooh, biscuits would be so good with this, I wonder if I have enough time?” I look at the clock, and if I have a half-hour, I go for it. I’m not sure anyone in history has regretted going for it when it comes to making biscuits that emerge from the oven piping hot on a cold night.

Of course, you could try a different variety of chile or cheese or both. I usually cut the biscuits into squares as mentioned in this recipe, but don’t let that dissuade you from using a round biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to make circles. The most important thing when cutting biscuits is to use a sharp knife or cutter that will slice quickly through the dough instead of stretching it down as you cut. This clean cut will help your biscuits rise unimpeded.

You’ll notice the recipe calls for folding the dough into thirds, like an envelope, two times before forming it into the final rectangle and cutting. This small but mighty step is why when you break open one of these biscuits, you’ll find layer upon layer of buttery, fluffy goodness.

I like to serve these with butter and a bottle of raw honey on the table.

Cheddar and poblano biscuits

Makes: 8 large biscuits or 16 small;

total time: 40 minutes

3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced into small pieces

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 poblanos, fire roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

11/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons heavy cream, for brushing

Crack of sea salt

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter and crumble it in with the flour mixture with your hands. Add the cheese and poblano chiles, gently mixing it with the flour mixture to evenly distribute. Add the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms into a rough dough. Using your hands, gently work the dough, just until the excess flour is absorbed into the piece of dough.

Transfer the dough to a clean, dry and floured work surface. Without overworking the dough, shape it into approximately a 12-inch-by-6-inch rectangle. Fold one side in to meet the center of the dough in front of you. Now fold the other side up and over the dough you just folded. Basically you are folding the dough like you would a letter. Now gently turn the dough 90 degrees, making sure there is enough flour underneath, gently pat again to a 12-inch-by-6-inch rectangle and do another two folds. Gently pat the dough down (or use a rolling pin) to form your last 12-inch-by-6-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into either eight or 16 squares depending on your preference and transfer biscuits to the sheet tray.

Brush biscuits with heavy cream and crack a bit of sea salt over the top of each one. Bake 10-15 minutes for small biscuits and 15-20 minutes for large biscuits. You’ll know they are done when they are golden brown.

Marianne Sundquist is a chef and writer who in 2020 co-founded Stokli, an online general store. Find her on Instagram @chefmariannesundquist, and email her at marianne@stokli.com.

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