Cheese straws are a delightful snack or appetizer that is quick and easy to prepare. The name is a bit deceiving, as it is not a straw. Instead, cheese straws are savory, crispy biscuits, baked in the shape of a straw. Cheese straws are a Southern invention that pair perfectly with a stiff drink like a martini.
If you've ever dined at Cracker Barrel, you've probably seen a box of cheese straws in their display section. The most well-known producer of cheese straws is The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory brand, by Meredith Corporation. They're known for their straws having a rectangular shape with a robust cheddar cheese flavor.
While it's almost impossible to eat just one straw, you don't have to feel too guilty if you eat the entire plate. Cheese straw's main ingredient is cheese, which provides 15% of your daily value of calcium. They're a tad high in carbohydrates, with 9g per straw, but who's counting nutritional information during the holidays, anyway? You can feel slightly better knowing this each straw contains very low cholesterol and high vitamin A.
If you're in the mood to do some home cooking for the holidays, this cheddar cheese straw recipe won't disappoint.
How to Make Cheddar Cheese Straws
The best recipes are ones that are simple to recreate at home. Even if you don't own a cookie press, you can make these cheese straws with whatever kitchen tools you have at home. The prep time is only about 5 minutes since everything is thrown into a food processor to mix. If you don't have a food processor, use a stand mixer or electric mixer to combine all ingredients.
Houchu Cookie Press
First, you'll need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent the cheese straws from sticking.
Next, you'll add all the ingredients into a food processor. Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour with 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese. If you like your straws to have more bite, feel free to use extra sharp cheddar cheese. Save yourself time by using grated cheese, instead of a block.
Add your cubed, unsalted butter. You'll want the butter to be very cold, so remove it from the fridge just before you add it to the processor. Now it's time to add in the seasoning. Add red pepper, black pepper, smoked paprika, and one teaspoon salt. If you like even more heat, add some cayenne pepper too. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper adds just a hint more spice.
Once pulsed in the mixer, slowly add the whole milk until the mixture forms a dough.
Now, comes the best part; Shaping the straws. If you have a cookie press, use the star tip to pipe the dough into long lines. If you don't have this tool, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and chill for one hour. Once chilled, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into 4-inch strips.
Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and store at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days. Enjoy with a stellar cocktail or fancy mocktail.
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This Southern Cheese Straw Recipe is Simple to Bake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or extra sharp cheddar
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Optional
- Pre-heat over to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the food processor, combine flour, shredded cheese, butter salt, pepper, and paprika. With the processor running, slowly add in the whole milk until a dough forms.
- Method 1: If you have a cookie press, attach the star tip and pipe the dough into straight lines on the pan. Cut into 4 inch pieces.
- Method 2: Put the dough into a gallon size ziplock bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Gently squeeze the dough into straight lines on your baking sheet. Cut into 4 inch pieces.
- Method 3: Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on the baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for one hour. After chilling, cut the dough into 4 inch pieces.
- Bake the cheese straws for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool, then store in an airtight container.
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