Savory and rich with just a bit of a peppery bite, cheese straws are great party snacks. They"re especially easy to make and travel well.
Ingredient Checklist 1 ½ cups butter, softened 1 (1-pound) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 ½ teaspoons salns 1 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper ½ teaspoon paprika 4 cups all-purpose flour
Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until blended. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined.
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Use a cookie press with a star-shaped disk to shape mixture into long ribbons, following manufacturer"s instructions, on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cut ribbons into 2-inch pieces.
Cheese Wafers: Combine ingredients as directed; chill dough 2 hours. Shape dough into 4 (8-inch-long) logs; wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container 1 week.
If you don"t have a heavy-duty stand mixer, you can use a handheld mixer. Just divide the ingredients in half, and work with two batches.
Well, I haven"t baked them yet but the dough looks reasonable. Of course I deviated; what kind of cook follows a recipe exactly? (Evil grin.) Instead of butter I used ghee; ghee is butter that has had the water (15%) and milk solids (8% or so) removed so it"s pure fat (pure butterfat). I also used pre-grated cheese and as I said initially, the dough looks good, perhaps a bit too oily.
I was puzzled by the "ground red pepper" ingredient. Would that be cayenne? That would make some very hot cheese sticks. I have some Mexican dried red pepper; Pasilla, Ancho, New Mexico, whatever it is, I can"t remember, so I used that. I also added 1/4 teaspoon cayenne to give it some zing.
I also halved the recipe. And most importantly I converted the ingredients to grams and weighed it. Measuring butter (or ghee in my case) by volume is dumb; so much easier by weight. Same thing for flour.
Hopefully I can update this review after I bake them; I"m going to let the dough rest for an hour or two first.
Rating: 5 starns
I made the cheese straws this evening and they were a hit! Heed the other reviews. I did everything according to the recipe (except the type of pepper). The cheese straws came out beautifully. Hand grating the cheese is work, but the difference is noticeable immediately. The fresh grated cheese looks less dry than the pre-shredded and has a better color. I let it sit out about an hour after shredding to come up to room temperature. SouthernLights is right on the butter! Mine was a perfect consistency after 20 seconds in the microwave.
Everything wasblended in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I dumped it all in, used the whip and let it run. Don"t panic if it looks like coarse pie crust in a minute. Stir it to see if it is moist. If it is, leave the mixture alone and let the mixer work a little longer. I almost panicked and added water when the mixture looked crumbly. Then I stirred it and noticed the mixture looked moist, just not wet. It looked much better after a couple more minutes in the blender.
The paprika flavor did not come through well. I would bump that up next time. I was out of red pepper and substituted white pepper with a dash of ground black pepper. The results were good. You can probably go with whatever flavor your family likes best. I"m going to try it with chili powder next time and anticipate that the substitution will go favorably.
My new Wilton cookie press did not come with a star tip. I used the large flat tip instead. The mixture came out easily. This made a cracker sized cheese bite which my family is enjoying.
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I read where they should last a week in a tightly covered container. There"s no way they"ll last that long in this house! My best hope is the straws will make it through tomorrow afternoon.