It’s fresh-baked cheddar crackers in a straw shape, which is fine with me. The crackers are crisp, cheesy, and buttery. Delicious in every way.
I did not have a party to bring these to, but they would make a great party appetizer. I made these mainly because I saw them on a popular blog and wanted to try them.
Fortunately, they were easy to make, and I’m glad I did. This dough consists of melted butter, cheese, flour, cream/milk, salt, and red pepper flakes. The dough is then processed, rolled out, and cut into strips, and the process takes less than 30 minutes. After baking for 15-20 minutes, they taste great.
The raw dough was not very tasty at first, and when they were baked, they had an unpleasant smell. There must have been something in the butter and cheese that cooked together. The scent does not smell like heaven, though. Nevertheless, when they came out of the oven, I tried one right away, and all was well.
Cheese straws can be made in a variety of ways. It would be great to try different cheeses with fresh herbs and dried spices.
grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
Butter softened and cut into four pieces, four tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces)
Add more flour for dusting to 3/4 cup flour
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon kosher
Red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon
One tablespoon half-and-half (I used cream since I had it on hand; milk would also work)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a food processor, pulse cheese, butter, flour, salt, and red pepper five times for five seconds until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The dough should form a ball after a few seconds of adding half-and-half.
The dough should be rolled out into a rectangle 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Slice the dough into thin 8-inch strips using a sharp knife (or a pizza or pastry wheel; both worked fantastically). Dip the knife in flour every few inches to ensure a clean cut. Leaving at least a quarter-inch between the strips, transfer the strips onto an ungreased cookie sheet (though I lined mine with parchment paper). Don’t worry if the dough sags or sometimes breaks during the transfer – do your best. Straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.
On the middle rack, bake the straws for 12 to 15 minutes or until the ends are barely browned. Place the cookie sheet on a rack to cool after removing it from the oven.
The dish should be served at room temperature. When kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator, cheese straws will keep for two days.
The most manageable dough ever:
As you peel the cut strips off the counter, be careful because they are somewhat fragile.
Two cookie sheets were filled.
You can see that the front one is a little squiggly. These could be formed into cool shapes.