lightened-up cream cheese biscuits

I’m having one of those weeks. It seems my T0 Do list is piling up, both at home and at work, and there is no end in sight. There are at least four manuscripts at work that need my attention. Or maybe it’s five. Meetings to prepare for and attend. Kids birthday party invitations to reply to and buy presents for. Laundry. Meals. The nightly bedtime battle that has become so desperate I’ve resorted to bribing my kids with a jellybean if they STOP GETTING UP.

I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Maybe my To Do list only seems more pressing and burdensome because I have just come back from seven days of complete rest. Or maybe it’s the fact that the school year is coming to a close in a couple of months, and with that looming date brings the annual stress of arranging summer childcare and day camps. I’m sure it’s a combination of all of that and then some.

Is it too soon for another vacation?

Homemade biscuits are my panacea for times like this. A warm, freshly-baked biscuit slathered with honey – or perhaps a smear of butter and some of Renee’s delicious strawberry daquiri jam – and my mind settles down long enough to forget, if only momentarily, the obligations resting on my shoulders.

Yep. Time to get baking.

Yield: 12 biscuits

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Slightly adapted from Cook's Country, April 2001. While the original recipe calls for full-fat ingredients, I used what I had on hand - light cream cheese and light buttermilk. I certainly won't fault you for making it the original way, but with my version, you can have two biscuits. Or three.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen for 30 minutes
4 ounces 1/3-less fat cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen for 30 minutes
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon reduced-fat buttermilk


Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Pour flour mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add cream cheese and butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Stir in buttermilk until combined (dough will appear slightly dry).

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough comes together. Roll dough into an 8-inch by 6-inch rectangle. Cut into twelve 2-inch squares and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

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14 Responses to “lightened-up cream cheese biscuits”

  1. 1
    Feast on the Cheap — April 8, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    MMM, these look delicious! I slather mine with warm apple-ginger butter. Nothing beats it.

  2. 2
    Tracey — April 8, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    Hope things slow down for you soon! I hate that completely overwhelmed feeling. The biscuits definitely look like perfect comfort food!

  3. 3
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — April 8, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    These look great!

  4. 4
    Liren — April 8, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    It sounds like you need a vacation from the vacation. As much as I love getting away, it’s that return to reality (and all the work that builds ups) that is hard! Hope you get some rest soon, but in the meantime, I would absolutely love to try these – the cream cheese must make it wonderful.

  5. 5
    Kimmy @ Lighter and Local — April 8, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    Oh, I love that you lightened these up because I never have the willpower to stop at just one. This will be perfect with some homemade strawberry jam this summer!

  6. 6
    DessertForTwo — April 8, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    These look absolutely gorgeous and delicious! I haven’t made homemade biscuits in too long! Gotta fix that this weekend

  7. 7
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — April 8, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

    These look incredibly fluffy… which is surprising given that you used light cream cheese and buttermilk 🙂

  8. 8
    Lynda — April 9, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    It’s never too soon for another vacation! Lovely photo and thanks for the recipe, MJ.

  9. 9
    Errin — April 9, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    Can you send me some….I would really like to be eating one right now!

  10. 10
    RJ Flamingo — April 12, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    I love the looks of these biscuits – and yes, they’re the perfect vehicle for oh, any of my jams. :-)) Thanks, honey!

  11. 11
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — April 13, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

    These look so good! I can imagine how great they must taste with some homemade jam. I’ll definitely be giving them a try!

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  13. 12
    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — August 22, 2011 @ 2:35 am

    how the lightened up word is luring me to give up my diet for a day and make this! 🙂

  14. 13
    Krnewman — July 31, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

    Was looking for the perfect light and fluffy biscuit to make. I had a few wedges of laughing cow light creamy swiss left. I also used almond milk with a squeeze of lemon to sour and used half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour. For the butter, I used Healthy Start.
    Absolutely the best biscuits we have ever eaten! Light and fluffy just as you claim.
    We mix our honey with blue agave syrup to lighten it up. Who says you can’t have your biscuits and eat them two….
    Many thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. With the changes made, these can be considered healthy as well.

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