For the butter:
stick butter, softened
Tablespoons pure maple syrup (1/4 cup)
NOTE: Do not use pancake syrup!
teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder (increase if you like more spice)
For the biscuits:
cups Unbleached Self-Rising Flour (I used King Arthur brand)
cup cold butter (cut into pats), or shortening (I used all butter)
2/3 to 3/4
cup cold milk or buttermilk (I recommend buttermilk)
strips of bacon
cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or cheddar of your choice)
To make the butter: In a mixer, whip the butter until creamy. Add the maple syrup and chipotle chili and whip until blended. Taste, and adjust the maple syrup to chili ratio to your liking. We like just enough chipotle powder where you taste a subtle heat in the back of your throat, but we don't want to breathe fire! TIP: You can spread the butter into a strip of plastic write then roll into a log, then chill. You can slice what you want, or even freeze it for later. For the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425°. Slice the bacon into thin "lardons" and cook until just crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel and cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces. Shred the cheese and set aside. Place the flour in a bowl. Work in the butter or shortening just until crumbs are the size of large peas. TIP: I prefer to use frozen butter (or chilled) and to grate the butter. This make blending the butter into the flour, very easy to do. Add 2/3 cup of the milk or buttermilk, and stir until the mixture holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more milk or buttermilk if needed. Scoop the dough onto a well-floured surface, and fold it over on itself several times, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking. NOTE: Don't knead the dough, just fold it over on itself to create tender layers. Roll or pat the dough into a 5" x 8 1/2" rectangle about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Cut biscuits with a sharp, round 2" cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to reduce sticking. Or cut the rectangle into 12 small rectangular biscuits, which will allow you to skip the step of re-rolling and cutting scraps. If you've used a round cutter, pat the scraps together, and cut additional biscuits. 8) Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet (I place mine on parchment paper), leaving about 1" between them for crisp biscuits. Arrange biscuits so they're barely touching for soft-side biscuits. For higher-rising soft-side biscuits, place biscuits in an 8" round pan. 9) Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. 10) Remove them from the oven, and serve hot. Cool leftovers completely, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. To refresh room-temperature biscuits, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 13 minutes, until heated through. Yield: about 1 dozen 2" biscuits.