Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits

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There’s nothing like a warm old fashioned cookie straight from the oven. This foolproof homemade cookie recipe is easy to make and only requires 6 ingredients.

Comfort food for comfort food! Warm flaky biscuits with a bit of butter zipped in the middle are delicious. That’s why they’re a staple of Southern cooking, and once you make them, it’s also one of your favorite go-to recipes. No more buying mixes or cans! Now you can make cookies fast and like a pro with this easy 6-ingredient recipe. Warm, flaky, old fashioned cookies are the best! These cookies complement almost any meal and are easy to throw together on the fly.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?

Yes. Baking soda is 3 to 4 times stronger than baking powder, so you’ll need to reduce the amount called for in this recipe when making substitutions. To replace the 1 tablespoon of baking powder in this recipe, use 1 teaspoon of baking soda instead. That’s it, it still makes for some delicious, warm, flaky old fashioned cookies.

Can I use self raising flour instead of all purpose flour in this cookie recipe?

Yes, you can. Self-raising flour contains flour, baking powder, and salt. While it’s hard to predict the exact proportions of flour, baking powder, and salt in the mixture, you’ll likely still get great results. Just be sure not to add any extra baking powder or salt until you know how well a particular brand of self-raising flour works. For best results, just follow the recipe with all-purpose flour.

A bowl of freshly baked flaky old fashioned cookies

How to cut fat into flour for homemade biscuits:

Homemade cookies require you to cut a fat (such as butter or shortening) into the flour mixture until it resembles meal or sand. There are several options to do this.

  • Grater: The easiest way to cut fat into flour is to grate it with a cheese grater. This works especially well with cold butter.
  • Pastry cutter: The old fashioned way of cutting fat into flour is with a pastry cutter. This specialty kitchen tool has 3 to 4 curved blades on the handle so you can chop the fat into the flour with a shake.
  • Food processors: A food processor is a great little modern kitchen appliance that makes it easy to chop fat into flour. Simply place the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor along with the cold fat. Use the S-blade to whisk the mixture together until it resembles coarse meal or sand.
  • Two-knife method: The hardest way is to use two knives and cut the solid fat into the flour by cutting the knives parallel to each other. Hold a butter knife in each hand. Two knives cross in an X shape, with the flat faces of the blades touching each other. Put a knife of this shape into the fat and flour and repeatedly cut the blades through each other in an outward motion, similar to how scissors work.

Butter or Shortening: Which Is Best for Cookies?

Like many pastries, biscuits require a solid source of fat to achieve their flaky texture. Each fat source will yield slightly different results because they have different flavors and lead to different textures.

  • shorten: For the tallest cookies, use shortening since it has a higher melting point. While baking, the flour and shortening are forced apart until the shortening melts. By this point, the biscuits will have set, developing the much-sought-after flaky texture. For the best flavor, use a butter-flavored shortening, as regular shortening usually falls a bit short in the flavor department.
  • butter: Butter provides great flavor to your cookie recipes, but has a lower melting point than shortening. Because butter is about 15% water, you’ll notice some shrinkage as the water evaporates during baking, causing the cookies to shorten.
  • coconut oil: A popular trend in baking today is to use coconut oil. Coconut oil can be used to make sheet cookies, but you will need to measure and freeze the coconut oil first. Because coconut oil has a low melting point, it’s best to make smaller cookies so that the baking process will be faster and more even, separating the fat from the flour as quickly as possible.

  • There

    lard: If you want to make these like our not-too-distant ancestors, use lard. Lard is very similar to shortening, but is usually derived from pork fat. It has a unique flavor that many people love.

Butter brushed on freshly baked cookies

Pro tip: Always make sure the fat you use in your homemade cookies is as cold as possible. Cold fat that has not been softened will produce the crispiest biscuits.

If you liked this recipe, you might be interested in other similar recipes involving cookies:

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Butter brushed on freshly baked cookies

There’s nothing like a warm old fashioned cookie straight from the oven. This foolproof homemade cookie recipe is easy to make and only requires 6 ingredients.

Preparation time 10 minute

cooking time 15 minute

total time 25 minute

raw material

  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening cold
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter for brushing teeth (optional)


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

  • Grate the butter with a cheese grater and stir into the flour mixture, or cut the butter into small pieces and use a pastry knife to grate the fat into the flour mixture until it resembles grits or sand.

  • Gradually pour in the buttermilk or milk, stirring until the dough just comes together.

  • Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and form it into a ball.

  • Flatten dough until 1-inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter or water cup to cut cookies. Combine remaining scraps and continue repressing and cutting until all dough is used.

  • Place the cut cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Brush the top with melted butter, if desired.


Pro Tip:

  • Keep the butter or shortening as cold as possible. Pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before using it in recipes for extra flakiness.
  • Touch the dough with your hands as little as possible.
  • Work quickly to keep the dough cool. If desired, chill formed biscuits in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before baking.

Serve: 1big biscuit | Calories: 310kcal | carbohydrate: 37G | protein: 6G | fat: 16G | Saturated fat: 10G | cholesterol: 42mg | sodium: 556mg | Potassium: 301mg | fiber: 1G | sugar: 4G | Vitamin A: 500unit | calcium: 142mg | iron: 2.1mg

This recipe first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef on March 12, 2013