Make your own cheese straws
Versatile, easy to make and just plain delicious - what's not to love about Cheese Straws?
You can have them for an afternoon snack or bring them out as part of a platter at a party, everybody likes a cheese straw.
Here's my recipe for a crisp and flaky cheese straw specked with fresh herbs to give it that something extra. I'd love to hear how you get on making them and what you pair them with!
Southern Cheddar & Herb Cheese Straws
Servings: About 55 Cheese Straws
• 2 packed cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and levelled-off with knife, plus more for dusting
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Scant teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1-1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary and/or thyme
• 90g cold butter
• 6 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Set two oven racks in the centre of the oven. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheese, flour, salt, red pepper flakes and herbs. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch chunks and add to the flour/cheese mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some pea-size clumps of butter within. Add the cream and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together into a mass.
4. Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour and use your hands to shape into a rectangle about 1-inch high. Cut the rectangle in half.
5. Dust the work surface with more flour and roll each block of dough into a 8 x 10-inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (turn the dough as you go and add more flour as necessary so it doesn't stick). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim the edges straight without sacrificing too much dough, then cut the dough into thin strips about 1/4-inch wide. Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about a 1/4-inch of space between them.
6. Bake the straws for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a rich golden colour on the bottom, rotating the trays from top to bottom and front to back midway through.
Remove from the tray from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Carefully transfer the cheese straws to a plate and serve.