Upon moving to Maryland I absolutely had to find local restaurants offering crab anything. Steamed crabs, crab cakes, crab stuffed anything and my most favorite appetizer of all time, hot melty cheesy crab dip. Yup, I was on a crab mission. And not surprisingly, crab isn’t hard to find here. Just about every restaurant offers some type of crab specialty.
At first I was aghast at how pricey crab dishes are here. Crab dishes are not for the budget conscious. But after enjoying an all you can eat steamed blue crabs meal, I now get it. Getting crab meat out of it’s shell is no easy feat. And by the end of my meal Band-Aids were necessary. Crab is expensive for a reason.
Still, it’s worth every penny. And as much as I enjoyed the sweet bits of meat I wrestled from the shells, I enjoy the appetizers even better. Especially the crab dip. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a knock-off of a recipe I had recently at a local restaurant. A super decadent dip made with a dill Havarti cheese, Old Bay and of course, chunks of sweet crab. All mixed together and baked until hot and bubbly.
Sounds pretty epic, right? Bet you think it couldn’t get any better. Think again…
Usually restaurants in these parts serve tortilla chips, crostini or crackers with their crab dips. And while this works fine enough, I wanted something a little more fitting for such a regal dip. I mean, if I’m going to spend a chunk of money on crab to make my dip, I’m not going to serve my guests saltines to slather it on. That’s just silly.
Instead, I created an incredibly flaky cheddar cheese biscuit seasoned with Old Bay. Crab dip and hot flaky biscuits, a marriage made in heaven. If you’re not an accomplished baker, fear not. This recipe couldn’t get any easier. Let me share just a few tips to get you on your way…
As Amy mentions in her post, it’s important to make sure your baking soda and powder are not old. That’s one of the biggest issues novice bakers run into. If you don’t bake very often, it’s very possible that your baking powder and soda are old and inactive. Those two ingredients are key in mile high biscuits.
Another important element is to use a biscuit cutter. A flipped over jelly jar just won’t do. A biscuit cutter isn’t just for making your baked goods uniform in size and pretty. Actually, the sharp edge of the cutter helps slice right through the butter and flour rich dough mass, helping create the layers needed to give the biscuits height.
Trust me on this one. Get a biscuit cutter. This is the biscuit cutter set I use. While I normally use the largest cutter of the set for everyday biscuit making, I used the smallest cutter for this recipe. It makes for the cutest little mini biscuits just perfect for this appetizer.
If you’re worried about heating up your kitchen by baking the biscuits, feel free to bake them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer. They reheat beautifully. You could also microwave the dip, but it wouldn’t get that nice crusty top. My advice? Turn up the air conditioner. It’s worth it!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 8oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter cut in small chunks
- 1½ cup cold buttermilk plus 2 Tbsp
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- 12 oz crabmeat
- 8 oz Havarti dill cheese, shredded
- 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
- 6 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
- Mix together the flour, cheese, baking powder, sugar, Old Bay, garlic powder and baking soda until combined. Cut in the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or the tines of a fork. Keep cutting until you have clumps of butter the size of peas.
- Add the buttermilk and hot sauce and fold the mixture together until it comes together in a ball. You might need a bit more buttermilk if you feel it's not holding together. Once it starts to mass together, use your hands to form it into a disk. You don't want to play with it too much because the heat from your hands will melt the butter.
- Place disk onto floured surface and roll out into a circle about 1" thick. Use smallest cutter and cut biscuits with one swift downward motion. Place biscuits on baking sheet about 1" apart. Take dough scraps, roll into a ball and start the process over and repeat until all dough has been used.
- Bake until golden and puffed, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Mix all ingredients together in an oven safe bowl. Place bowl in oven and bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve with warm Cheddar Old Bay Biscuits.
The biscuit recipe in this post was inspired by Selfish Mom’s post. There’s an affiliate link in my post for my favorite biscuit cutter.