Party food: Cheese straws

I got the aforementioned How To Cook Everything cookbook for Christmas. After I opened it, one of the first recipes that caught my eye was for "cheese straws". Why did such a strange recipe make me want to try to make it immediately? Because, in the description of the snack, the cheese straws were compared to Cheez-Its. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cheez-Its. I don't let myself buy them because of the short time they're in the house. I devour them.

Anyway, back to cheese straws. I finally had an event where cheese straws would be an appropriate snack- a friend's weekend get-together & birthday party. Thanks to a busy morning, I had a very short time to get them mixed up, cut out, and in & out of the oven- and succeeded!

1/2 lb cheddar cheese
1/3 lb Parmesan cheese
2 cups all purpose flour
pinch Cayenne
1 stick cold butter
Ice water, if needed

Preheat oven to 450

Grate cheese in a food processor and dump it out into another bowl. Pulse flour and cayenne in processor. Add butter and process untill butter and flour are combined (until it "looks like cornmeal"). Pulse in cheese. Turn out on to the counter and knead by hand, adding a few drops of ice water if necessary (For me, it was necessary.).

Roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1/2 inch strips as long as you like. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: A whole lot. Enough for a party.
The most time-intensive part of the whole process was rolling & cutting, which I did in batches. The dough was fairly crumbly, and did take some water to even barely come together. Like a pie crust, the colder the ingredients and the less water you use, the flakier & lighter these snacks will be. These did mix up very quickly and bake very quickly. I wish I had gotten a picture, but, as I said, they were made in a rush before we got out the door- no time for photos! They are NOT as orange as Cheez-Its because they are without the food coloring, mainly. The ingredients aren't terribly different: flour, cheese, butter/oil, salt, and spice (cayenne/paprika).

I know when I make MY junk food at home, I feel better about it!


Goat Creek Grandma said...

The cheese straws sound great. I may have to try these myself. The recipe sounds pretty simple. Thank you for sharing!

Stay warm,

Scribbit said...

I saw you mention that book earlier--I always enjoying new cook books, nearly every one has at least one great recipe in it.