A trip to the low country isn’t complete without stopping by Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits in Charleston. Hot and buttery, every bite is moist and delicious!
Who knew that a Hot Little Biscuit could create so much buzz? Well, apparently Carrie Morey knew there was something extra special about her grandmother Callie’s Southern biscuit recipe. Since 2005, she’s been serving Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit (HLB) at her grab-and-go biscuit restaurants in Charleston and Atlanta. Last weekend I attended the MediaVine Publishers Conference in Charleston—one of my very favorite cities, by the way—and one of the locals suggested I try HLB, but warned me the lines might be long!
Before my conference classes began, I wandered out early Saturday morning down King Street to see what all the buzz was about these biscuits. After all, I’m a Southern girl and I know a thing or two about biscuits myself. With my camera in tow, I thought it would be a great time to capture a few fun shots along the way.
Callie’s on King Street is in a narrow store front—barely wide enough for a line to form between the counter along one wall and retail shelves on the other—and it was literally packed with people in search of the famous biscuits! The menu features traditional breakfast biscuit sandwiches as well as speciality biscuits like shortcake biscuits and blackberry jam, cinnamon biscuits, and cheese and chive biscuits. How to choose?!?
Luckily, Callie’s offers three mini biscuits of any kind for $5—sold! I sampled the shortcake biscuit, a cheese and chive ham-filled biscuit, and a buttermilk biscuit with basil pear jam. While I was waiting for my order to come up, I noticed the biscuit maker in the back measuring out ingredients for the dough—real butter and WHITE LILY flour—my brand of choice as a Southern baker! (Side note: White Lily Flour was milled in my hometown, Knoxville, TN, until 2008 when the J.M. Smucker company bought the brand and moved the operation North.)
These little biscuits were indeed delicious! Soft and billowy, they literally melt in your mouth. What’s the secret besides White Lily Flour and butter? Cream cheese! I found a published version of Callie’s recipe (scroll down) on a Washington Post article, but you can also get the famous recipe along with other Southern delights in Callie’s Charleston Biscuit cookbook.
With my tummy full, I hiked down to Rainbow Row and soaked in the charm of historic Charleston—cobblestone streets, Georgian row houses, blooming window boxes, and even this stylish pooch! Rainbow Row is one of the most photographed areas in Charleston, and like everyone else I couldn’t help myself!
I turned the corner and captured this gardener on a ladder tending to the window boxes on the second story of this row house—the flowers were stunning!
- 2 cups self-rising flour, preferably White Lily brand, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter for glazing
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole or low-fat buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the flour in a large bowl and work the butter and cream cheese in with your fingers just until crumbly; do not overwork the dough.
Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Use a fork to gradually incorporate it into the flour. The dough should be wet and sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle with a little more flour. Gently roll the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness (do not overwork the dough).
Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits, cutting them as close together as possible. Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet so that they are just touching. (NOTE: Avoid kneading or rolling out the dough too many times to keep them from becoming tough.)
Brush the tops with the melted butter and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly golden brown.
Adapted from Callie White of Callie's Charleston Biscuits in Charleston, S.C. as published in The Washington Post.