Cheese Straws

cheese straws #1Cheese Straws are a satisfyingly-cheesy cracker that can be made using a variety of cheeses, but traditionally with a sharp cheddar. Add just a sprinkle of cayenne to give them a touch of heat, and they’re perfect.  Cayenne and real Cheddar sets these crackers apart — far apart — from any store-bought crackers in a box. Cheese Straws are remarkably light yet crunchy, and quite addicting for cheese lovers of all types.

Cheese Straws are great for an afternoon snack, as a pre-dinner appetizer to complement wine, or bring them along to a picnic or tailgate party. Plus, they taste great with a good beer!  You can vary the flavor by varying the type of cheese used.  This version is the sharp Cheddar variety.

 

Cheese Straws

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound grated extra­-sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cayenne, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Mixture tends to form a ball.
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly-floured surface until dough is just under 1/4″ thick.
    Cut dough with a scalloped-edge pastry cutter (if you don’t have one, just use a knife) into long strips about 1/2″ to 1″ wide, then separate the strips into shorter cracker-length segments, about 2″ long, or any length that you choose.
  4. Transfer dough pieces parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving at least 1/4″ between pieces.
  5. Bake 10 – 15 minutes, or until “straws” are lightly golden.
  6. Remove from the oven, let sit for a minute or two, then carefully transfer crackers to a cooling rack to cool completely.



Cheese straws taste best fresh, but can be kept in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature. They also freeze pretty well!
cheese straws #2

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