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cheese straws by anne byrn

Anne Byrn's Cheese Straws

Serves: Makes about 5 dozen

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1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 packed cups)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon ground cayenne



In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cheese, butter, flour and cayenne. Mix on medium-low speed until the mixture comes together in a ball, 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, process the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture comes together into a ball.)

Wrap the ball in wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Adjust one rack to the center of the oven.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and cut the ball in half. Re-wrap one half of the dough and return to the refrigerator. Place the other half on a lightly floured work surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. With a pastry cutter or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 1/2-inch strips and gently transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake the cheese straws, one baking sheet at a time, until puffed up and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with salt, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cheese straws.

Serve the cheese straws with cocktails or tomato soup. Extra cheese straws can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature or up to three months in the freezer.


About the recipe

Cheese straws are easy, versatile, cheap to make, easy to gift, and so fun to nibble during the holidays. They may not be originally Southern, but they're nearly ours. And don't stress about making them perfectly the first go-around. People have been baking cheese straws and washing them down with a favorite holiday beverage for centuries.

This recipe first appeared in Taste of a Place.