I have a confession to make. I'm a fool for melted cheese. The lava-flow of Gruyère oozing from a just-cut stuffed loaf; the stretchy strings of mozzarella dangling from a hot slice of pizza; warm Parmesan and fontina enclosed in cannelloni. I admit, they all make my heart beat just a little faster.

And not from cholesterol overload. I'm one of those fortunate people genetically programmed to eat cheese, and lots of it. I'm Norwegian, from Wisconsin; a certified Cheesehead. My grandmother drank her coffee with heavy cream, never shied away from a creampuff (Wisconsin's unofficial state dessert), and enjoyed cheese in every imaginable fashion, 7 days a week. She lived to be 102 years old.

Not that I espouse a high-fat diet. Though I enjoy cheese every day at breakfast, it's low-fat cheese. And at lunch, the cheese on my salad is feta or part-skim mozzarella. That tempting triple-crème St. André or oozing Camembert? Reserved for special occasions.

But what about regular full-fat (but not ultra-high-fat) cheese? Like extra-sharp cheddar, or Asiago? You don't want to overdo, quantity-wise. But their assertive flavors make them the perfect "baking condiment"—a delicious enhancement to savory muffins, biscuits, or breads. A shower of Parmesan atop hot focaccia isn't going to bring the nutrition police to your door; but oh, what a happy burst of flavor it adds to that bread!

The following biscuits—a.k.a. scones—are a great example of cheese as condiment. With just 1/5 of an ounce of cheese per serving, these are well within what your diet can handle. Even the sausage (less than 1 ounce per serving) isn't a deal-breaker. And their flavor is out of this world.

Oh, and what about this scone/biscuit confusion? Here in America, scones and biscuits are pretty much the same thing (we'll leave Great Britain out of this discussion for the time being). Scones are basically a dressed-up biscuit: sweetened, often including extras (nuts, chips, fruit), and usually cut in wedges, rather than circles. But in the end, butter-enriched, baking powder-leavened siblings under the skin.

Are you hungry? Let's make Sausage and Cheese Biscuits. Or scones.

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I know, I know, I show you this Pizza Dough Flavor all the time. And that's because I use it all the time. It's a truly wonderful ingredient for all kinds of savory baked treats, from pizza crust (obviously) to bread to scones and rolls and bread sticks and, yes, biscuits.

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I've always loved the look of this Colby/Monterey Jack clone from Cabot. Which, if you haven't seen it, is a farmer-owned cooperative here in Vermont, producing a wide range of award-winning cheeses. Including low-fat cheeses that are, surprisingly, quite tasty.

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Cut the cheese in slices.

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Then stack the slices, and cut them in sticks. Turn the sticks 90°, and cut them into cubes. Does it matter how big you make the cubes? No. Clearly you don't want huge 1” chunks in your scones, but don't fuss too much; 3/8” to 1/2” is a nice size.

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So here's your cheese. The Holstein pattern is kind of cute, yes?

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And here's 3/4 lb. of link sausage, nicely browned.

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Cut into slices. Again 3/8” to 1/2” is a good size. And a pair of scissors will make quick work of this chore.

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Cheese diced, sausage sliced... let's make biscuits.

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Whisk together unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur, of course; it does make a difference); baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add cold butter, cut in pats or chunks.

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Once the butter has been roughly mixed in (leaving a few largish, marble-sized chunks), add the cheese and sausage.

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Then the dairy—you have your choice of buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream. Here, I'm using homemade yogurt. I find homemade isn't as assertively acidic in your baked goods as store-bought.

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Stir it in to make a sticky dough...

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...which you can deposit right onto a piece of parchment. Or, barring that (but if you don't yet have any parchment in your kitchen — why not?!), onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

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Pat into a rough rectangle. It'll be about 8” x 10”, slightly smaller than a standard sheet of paper; about 3/4” thick.

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Take a knife, rolling pizza wheel, baker's bench knife, or your other favorite cutting implement, and cut 2” squares.

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I decided to do an experiment. Separate half the squares; leave the other half connected. Here are the ones I pulled apart.

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Brush with melted butter. Or not. I'm a fan of melted butter on top of just about anything.

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Bake. The cheese will ooze; that's just fine. In fact, it's aspiration, not aggravation.

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And here's the result of the experiment. No difference in pulling them apart, other than that the scones on the right had crispier sides, and the oozing cheese had a chance to get crusty.

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Nice, light texture, tender and moist.

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Serve warm with your breakfast eggs or grits. Or a fruit salad. Or just grab one as you're heading out the door—consider it a shortcut breakfast sandwich. A warm, melty-cheesy, spicy sausage-y right out of your own oven sausage biscuit.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Sausage Cheese Biscuits.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, 4.9-oz., $2.99, 61¢/ounce

Bake at home:  Sausage & Cheese Breakfast Scones, 15¢/ounce

Filed Under: Recipes
PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

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