How to set up a biscuit bar
Nothing brings people together like carbs, and in the South, the arguable king of carbs is the Southern biscuit. We eat biscuits any time of day, and find a way to make breakfast, lunch and dinner biscuits appropriate.
This spring, we’re taking biscuits to the next level by throwing an event dedicated to the glory of the Southern biscuit: a biscuit party! Here’s your ultimate guide:
A biscuit party is perfect for a wedding or baby shower; it’s also a great theme for any Sunday brunch gathering. Nobody leaves hungry, and you get to pull out all of your tea spoons, small jars, serving platters and cheese knives, all of which spend too much time hiding away.
Although you could have a biscuit party in the evening, we recommend a mid-morning to afternoon affair, so you can fill up on biscuits and burn off that carb energy throughout the day.
Preparation and set up
The great thing about a biscuit party is that the biscuit bar setup is relatively easy — all you need is a long table and some platters, cake stands and jars.
You’ll also need biscuits, of course. In order to minimize the amount of day-of work you need to do, we recommend our make-ahead cream biscuit recipe, which you can prepare in advance and bake the day of the party.
When it comes to display, there’s nothing more appealing than a mountain of golden brown, fluffy biscuits, so make your biscuit showcase the focal point of the table. Consider piling the biscuits into a picnic basket lined with a nice linen napkin, or a flared bowl with biscuits toppling out.
As for toppings, there are plenty of options, from jellies and jams to honey and flavored butter. You’ll want to include a combination of these; include at least five toppings, but no more than seven so your guests aren’t overwhelmed with decisions. Use chalkboard signs or cut out paper signs to identify each topping on the biscuit bar.
Don’t forget spreaders, dippers, knives and spoons so they can dress their biscuit accordingly. Each topping should have its own spreader, so guests don’t cross-pollinate the flavors of their toppings.
Consider country ham, sausage, fried chicken (purchased or made) and pimento cheese as biscuit fillers. Guests can add these hearty fillers and create a biscuit sandwich, or enjoy them on the side. The fillers take the party from snack to full meal, so make sure you include at least two of them on your biscuit bar.
You’ll want to vary height with your plates and platters to create dimension on the table. Use cake stands, bowls, Lazy Susans, plates, and jars of varying sizes and heights. Don’t have heightened cake stands or platters? Stack a bowl on top of a cutting board or two, or flip a crate or cardboard box upside down, throw a linen over it and you’ve got yourself a platform!
Place your dips and spreads in a variety of containers including mason jars, bowls and other containers. The more you mix and match your vessels, the better! Think “country rustic” with your decor and plan for colors that pair well with biscuits, like pastels, blues and burlap.
Put fruit in bowls as centerpieces in accordance with the toppings you have; for example, if you have apple butter, display some apples. Use the same idea for grapes, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Guests can snack on fruit if they choose and if not, the fruit adds great color and texture to your table.
These biscuits are making me thirsty! Of course, you’ll want to make sure your guests have plenty to drink, so we recommend having three to four types of beverages: one bubbly cocktail, one beer and one non-alcoholic.
Beer? Yes! Consider a sweeter beer, like Southern Carolina brewery RJ Rocker’s Son of a Peach beer or another fruit-forward brew. Pair the beer with a peach preserve-covered biscuit for a tasty combination.
For the cocktails, try our Vesper-style mimosa or a bourbon prosecco spritzer. These cocktails are a great way to kick-start the morning and take you through to the afternoon, and although Southerners need no to excuse to drink bourbon in the morning, the prosecco in the spritzer does make the whiskey a little more palatable before noon. For your non-alcoholic drink, Southern sweet tea is always a classic. Don’t forget to have water available, too.
DIY Drop Biscuit Contest
Here’s a fun idea for a smaller group: Prep a couple batches of plain drop biscuit dough (or have your guests make it upon arrival — it’s so fast and easy!) and set out a bowls full of chopped up ingredients: bacon, ham, chives, cheddar cheese, feta, lemon zest, thyme, etc.
Give your guests each a small bowl of dough (or the biscuit ingredients if you’re going that route) and let them add their own mixings to their biscuits. Each person should only make a few biscuits from their batch. Bake them up at the same time and taste-test who made the best biscuit combination! The winner should get a small prize — like a gift set — or bragging rights. It’s a fun way to engage everyone and let them get creative with their biscuits.
With these tips and our recommendations below, you’re sure to have the best Southern biscuit party of the season! Share pictures of your biscuit party with the hashtag #mysouthernkitchen on social media. We’d love to see what you’re cooking up.