Carrie Morey founded Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in 2005, selling petite packaged frozen buttermilk biscuits made from the recipe passed down from her mother, Charleston caterer Callie White.
The company became an unlikely success story, celebrated by Food & Wine, Saveur and Southern Living, beloved by Oprah and Martha Stewart, and offered through fancy food purveyors such as Goldbely and Williams‑Sonoma.
And it spawned Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, a grab-and-go bake shop in Charleston’s Upper King District that serves all sorts of biscuit variations, bowls of grits, and other goodies for breakfast and lunch daily, and late on weekends.
Two more Hot Little Biscuit locations in Atlanta’s Virginia–Highland neighborhood and Charleston’s City Market followed, giving Morey an even higher profile.
But her approach to the business of biscuits is still pretty basic, as she demonstrated recently at the Virginia-Highland shop, where Morey schooled us in the ways of Southern-style shortcakes, also known as shortcake biscuits.
The recipe is a sweeter take on Callie’s signature White Lily Flour-based biscuit recipe, with whole milk and extra butter instead of buttermilk and cream cheese, plus a half-cup of sugar and bit of vanilla added to the mix.
Watching Morey turn the ingredients into dough is something of a meditative experience, as flour and butter and fingers come together in a soothing ritual of subtle motions, handed down and repeated over generations.
“Everything is done by hand,” Morey says. “And we think that the combination of White Lily and making it by hand is what makes our biscuits so special. We start with the butter and work it into the flour.
“This part is very therapeutic and nice. A lot of people are intimidated by making biscuits. It’s not an exact science. And I think you need to learn how to get your hands in there and really feel.”
From spring into summer, Morey likes to fix strawberry shortcakes with whipped cream, or use leftover shortcakes to make croutons for a layered and chilled blueberry trifle with lemon curd.
Morey also shared the recipe for Callie’s Signature Buttermilk Biscuit Bowls, a savory breakfast or brunch favorite at Hot Little Biscuit shops.
“It’s a recipe we came up with when I was opening the first Hot Little Biscuit, Morey says. “We knew we wanted to serve grits and we wanted an interesting way to do that. So we came up with the idea of taking a muffin tin and molding leftover dough over it.
“We ended up with biscuit bowls that were edible. Now, you can build your own with all kinds of things, scrambled eggs, chopped bacon, roasted tomatoes, pimento cheese, whatever you want.”
Watch as Morey creates her famous shortcakes (recipes below):
These recipes from Carrie Morey of Callie’s Charleston Biscuits and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit include sweet strawberry shortcakes, blueberry trifle with shortcake croutons, and savory buttermilk biscuit baskets.
Blueberry Shortcake Trifle With Lemon Curd, Whipped Cream and Shortcake Croutons
This creamy, refreshing chilled trifle is a great way to use leftover shortcakes for a different kind of warm weather dessert.
Callie’s Signature Buttermilk Biscuit Bowls
You’ll need a rolling pin, a 6-inch diameter bowl or round cutter, and jumbo muffin tin to make these savory biscuit bowls. Fill them with anything you like, from scrambled eggs and bacon to grits and pimento cheese.