It’s the tastiest way to show hospitality.
Confession: I’m not much of a cook or a baker. I eat a lot of carry-out and bake cakes from a box. When I do decide to whip something up at home, I have to pop into our food editor’s office beforehand to ask her questions that I should probably already know the answers to, like “can you substitute fresh corn with frozen?”
All of that to say, I’m not a natural in the kitchen, so if I’m going to make something that family, friends, or new acquaintances can safely eat, the recipe needs to be 100% foolproof.
Enter Nan’s cream cheese biscuits.
Nan is my childhood friend’s grandmother, and if ever there were one, she’s the personification of Southern grace and loveliness. I’ve known Nan since I was little, and I’ve never seen her without her silky gray hair swept back into a polished chignon and a smile on her face. She’s got an old-school Southern accent that you don’t hear much these days, and she has a kind word for everyone. She writes the most gracious notes in the prettiest calligraphy (another lesson I’d love to learn from her!), so mail from Nan was always the best kind of treat.
She also makes the world’s yummiest cream cheese biscuits.
I always looked forward to special occasion brunches at my friend’s house because I knew Nan—and her melt-in-your-mouth biscuits—would be there. The little biscuits aren’t much larger than a silver dollar, and no matter how many she made, they’d always be gone by the end of the meal.
They taste like celebration and hospitality, with a heavy helping of comfort and butter. They’re also easy to make, requiring just a handful of ingredients and not much hands-on time. It’s their nostalgic deliciousness, and the ease of baking them, that make Nan’s cream cheese biscuits the ideal treat for welcoming new neighbors to the block, congratulating a bride-to-be, or boosting a friend’s spirits at the end of a rough week.
Plus, I can’t make Nan's cream cheese biscuits without channeling the Southern lady herself, so I feel like her graciousness and warmth are baked right in, too. And everybody needs a little bit of that.
WATCH: The Southern History of Biscuits
While Nan's cream cheese biscuits are made with a secret recipe reserved for family and friends, you can get the recipe for our take on the tasty snacks here. What’s your go-to dish for welcoming new neighbors? Tell us about it in the comments.