Makes 3 dozen
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 8 ounces bulk breakfast sausage
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne in food processor until combined, about 3 pulses. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 12 pulses. Add sausage and cheddar and pulse until combined, about 8 pulses. Transfer mixture to bowl and stir in buttermilk until combined.
Working with wet hands, roll 1 Tbs dough at a time into 1 1/4 inch balls and place, evenly spaced, on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and let ball cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
**Notes: My mom made sausage balls every year for Christmas (as long as I can remember, and well, that’s a pretty long time now), so I do the same thing, but I use this recipe. No need to have bisquick for the one time of year I need it – these are things that are on hand always. The use of buttermilk is perfect but it does make a very wet dough, so you do need to wet your hands to work with this.
I like to serve with spicy mustard (my dad likes) and grape jelly (that’s for me), but I also read this year that some people serve them with hot pepper jelly – sounds like a plan to me because as soon as it’s cooler (not so humid) I will open the windows and make some jelly with the peppers I’ve stored in the freezer since this summer.
I do use “hot” breakfast sausage and I tend to add a little more cayenne pepper than called for, but I do that on everything. I make an entire batch, bake them, and freeze what I don’t use and reheat them in the oven as I need them throughout the entire blah that is January.
Right now it’s humid and miserable, but looks like it should be cold and frosty. May have to change into shorts. Hello January on the NWFL Gulf Coast (sigh). I think it’s a conspiracy – can’t make candy with this much humidity. ugh.