Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

December 21, 2012

A favorite family holiday recipe

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t actually spend much time in the kitchen, but each year my mom and I like to do what we call our Christmas Baking. This has become a tradition of ours, and usually entails ordering a pie from Marie Callendar’s or arranging the Pillsbury pull-apart chocolate chip cookies on a cookie sheet and slipping them into the oven.

On the rare occasions I do bake, though, this is typically what I make. The recipe is from my Great-Aunt Geneva Rone, who was famous in her little town of Waxhaw, North Carolina, for her baking skills. She was the one who baked all the family birthday cakes, the ones my mother and her siblings and cousins looked forward to each year. My mom remembers that in Aunt Genny’s kitchen there was always the smell of fresh baked bread or biscuits or brownies. At Christmas time, she kept Coca-Colas on the back porch where they grew ice-cold and frosty, and she served them with the things she made.

Aunt Genny also believed in a world map that contained only four places: “Heaven. Hell. Waxhaw. And Off Somewhere.” My parents named me in her honor.

Of all her wonderful recipes, this is my favorite.

Aunt Geneva’s Cheese Biscuits

Makes: about 4 dozen, and that won’t be nearly enough! (I usually double the recipe)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 8-10 minutes


One cup of grated sharp (or extra sharp) cheddar cheese
One stick of butter or margarine, softened
3/4 to 1 cup of sifted flour
A dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 to 1 cup Rice Krispies (optional)


Blend cheese and butter thoroughly until creamy.

Work in flour with your hands until the dough is firm but not sticky, being careful not to overwork it.

Roll dough gently on floured board or counter.

Cut small biscuits– about the size of a silver dollar. (To shape and cut them, I usually use the top of one of my smallest juice glasses.)

Trim the tops of the biscuits with sesame seeds or pecan halves, if you like– or do as I do and leave them plain.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

Cool biscuits slightly before removing from pan.

To store, cool completely and seal in airtight container.

Reheat before serving to restore crispness.