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Cheese Straws

I saw a link to a recipe by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock for Cheese Straws, and even though there weren’t ANY reviews, I felt like I had to try it. Normally I would not do that, but something made me make these. And I’m so glad I did, because they were delicious! Jacob compared them to the Pepperidge Farm Cheese Sticks he loves and can’t find any more. I thought they were more like long, thicker cheez its. I made these a day ahead, because supposedly the flavor is better the 2nd day. I made half of the recipe and added a little extra cayenne. I’m trying to make my foods a little spicier now. These will go great with my tomato basil soup tomorrow.

I really really liked these, and I want to keep experimenting with crackers and snack recipes. While looking at Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for cheese straws, I learned something pretty important. When I made my thyme crackers, I noticed that no matter how thin I rolled the dough, the crackers puffed up a little. To avoid that, all I need to do is poke one or a few holes in each cracker so air can escape. I kind of want to make these cheese straws again, and roll them thin, cut them into little squares, and sprinkle salt on top. My own homemade cheez its! I’ll probably try a different recipe though just to compare.

Day 2, still yummy! I think the flavor improved a little but not significantly. It’s nice that a baked good doesn’t get worse the next day! Jacob requested my next cheese cracker to be a little less like bread. I’m assuming he means a smaller proportion of flour to cheese/butter. That will definitely help me choose a different recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  5. 1/2 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (2 1/2 cups)
  6. 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  7. 2 tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sift the flour, mustard, salt and cayenne into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cheese and butter on low speed until well blended. Gradually beat in the flour until completely incorporated. Add the water and beat for 1 minute.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 times. On a large sheet of wax paper, roll the dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the dough in half crosswise, then cut it into 6-by- 1/4 -inch strips. Transfer the strips to 2 cookie sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 14 minutes, or until the cheese straws are golden brown and crisp. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

MAKE AHEAD

    The Cheese Straws can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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