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Secret Ingredient Biscuits

Secret Ingredient Biscuits

The wonderful thing about biscuits is that they pair well with almost every dish you can think of. You can serve them at breakfast, at lunch and and dinner – and you can even use them to make berry shortcakes for dessert. The even more wonderful thing about them is that they are quick and easy to make. But I have to say that no other biscuit recipe is as quick and easy to make as these Secret Ingredient Biscuits are.

Secret Ingredient Biscuits are fluffy, tender biscuits that get their name because they are made with an unusual ingredient: mayonnaise. The mayonnaise actually replaces butter (or other fats) that you would typically put into biscuit dough. It works because mayonnaise made with eggs and oil – two fat sources that are often used in biscuits.

I first saw this recipe in an issue of Cook’s Country (Mar/Apr 2013) and knew that I had to try them. Not only did they sound delicious, but the ingredient list was short and biscuits required virtually no prep time. It literally took less than 5 minutes to measure and mix the dough, then get the biscuits in the oven (which I had preheated). They were delicious, with a slightly savory quality from the mayonnaise that made them addictive – especially when they were served with a little bit of butter while they were still warm.

If you’re not a big mayonnaise fan, don’t worry: the biscuits don’t have a strong mayonnaise flavor and you probably wouldn’t know they were made with mayo. I did end up cutting back the amount of salt in the original recipe very slightly as my first batch turned out a touch salty, possibly because of the brand of mayonnaise that I was using – Best Foods, in this case. This is an easy recipe that everyone should be able to put together easily on short notice, and that means that it will be making a few more appearances in my house in the near future!

Cook’s Country calls for these biscuits to be made with full fat mayonnaise and whole milk, since it is the fat from these two items that tenderizes the biscuits and gives them their great texture. You can get away with using reduced fat versions of the two, but your biscuits may loose a bit of their tenderness. Fat free mayo and skim milk aren’t going to give you a good result here, so don’t use those if you want great biscuits.

Secret Ingredient Biscuits

Secret Ingredient Biscuits
from Cook’s Country

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (not non-fat)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (not “fat free”)

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk and mayonnaise until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Dough will be sticky.
Lightly grease a 1/4-cup measure or an ice cream scoop and scoop balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. You may need to re-grease your spoon.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until biscuits are golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 12.

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  • rainey
    March 2, 2013

    Well, that’s an interesting recipe! But how do you get flakiness without the small shards of butter?

  • LisaM
    March 2, 2013

    Made these this morning. The texture was exactly as you described. The only difference noted: my biscuits were completely smooth on top, more like a roll. No worries, they were delicious and my husband had no complaints. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Nicole
    March 2, 2013

    Rainey – For these biscuits, you don’t get much flakiness. They’re more soft and fluffy inside. I usually like very flaky biscuits, but these have a good flavor and are a great change of pace!

  • Ninika
    March 3, 2013

    Wow..these look really delicious..i’ll try to cook them in the evening..

  • Kate
    March 3, 2013

    Has anybody walked away from a half-eaten biscuit after learning of the secret ingredient? 🙂

  • Cindy
    March 3, 2013

    Tried these today and what a success! Will keep this recipe handy for sure.

  • James
    March 6, 2013

    Can’t wait to try these this weekend. Being a Southerner, I love my buttermilk biscuits but love trying variations. Thia seems like an easy alternative. Would I be able to use buttermilk instead of regular milk? That is after making them exactly as your recipe indicates first, of course. Love having different options when baking. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Nicole
    March 6, 2013

    James – Good question. I actually tried this with buttermilk and they were excellent. Since I love buttermilk myself, I think they might have even been a bit better than they were with regular milk, so I would definitely recommend it.

  • James
    March 7, 2013

    Nicole! I think you are my new best friend! Most say everything is better with bacon. I say everything is better, baked with buttermilk. Possibly combining the two – buttermilk/bacon – just might take me to biscuit heaven. Thanks again for letting me know. The guy I’m dating loves when I bake and I am positive he will loves these too.

  • Karla
    December 25, 2013

    My husband and I bought some of those canned biscuits, you know, the kind you whack on the counter to get them open. They were really cheap, only $.38. They were tough, bitter, little hockey puck things that didn’t rise much while baking. Mercifully, they are all gone. I have never made biscuits completely from scratch before, I have always used Bisquick. I ran across this recipe a few days ago and decided to try it out. HOLY COW!!! These biscuits were fantastic! Hands down the best biscuits I have had . . . anywhere . . . ever. They were fluffy and tender and delicious. I sent the recipe to all of my girlfriends.

  • Teri
    July 10, 2014

    What if you used Miracle Whip instead of Mayo?

  • Nicole
    July 11, 2014

    Teri – Yes, I think that you could use Miracle Whip in this recipe. Give it a try! The flavor might be a bit better with mayonnaise, but you could always pick up a small container just for biscuits if the Miracle Whip doesn’t give you the results you want.

  • Tanis MacNeil
    September 30, 2015

    These are so delicious, my Grandson & Daughter loved them. I used whipping cream, (I know, I know too many calories) but so good, I also added a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Our spaghetti dinner with these biscuits was over the top 🙂

  • Jenesay
    November 23, 2015

    Could these be made with 1:1 gluten free flour?

  • Nicole
    November 24, 2015

    Jenesay – Probably, however I haven’t tried it myself. I think you’ll get good results with a gluten free flour that is recommended for 1:1 substitutions, such as Cup-4-Cup of Bob’s Red Mill.

  • Stacy
    August 30, 2016

    I’m so happy a search for “secret ingredient biscuits” brought me to this post. These are BY FAR the best scratch biscuits I’ve ever made, and I want some soon. But I’ve somehow lost the issue of Cooks Country the recipe was printed in (I believe it was “borrowed”). You’re a lifesaver!

  • LeeLee
    December 20, 2016

    I’ve tried these and got the smooth texture on top. It didn’t matter though. I think they taste like a cross between a biscuit and a roll. Super yummy!

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