One of my favorite memories as a child is when my Mom would make cheese straws every Christmas. She would keep them in a tin on top of the fridge and my sister and I would beg for them each night; they were so delicious.
Recently I found a recipe for cheese straws on one of my favorite food blogs, smitten kitchen, and decided to give it a whirl. I am delighted to tell you that these taste almost exactly like the cheese straws my Mom used to make and this recipe it a total keeper. It is easy, fast and ridiculously yummy. I took a bunch of these over to my Dad's as an appetizer for Easter dinner and they were a hit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half-and-half (although I ended up using about 1.5 tablespoons to get the dough to stick together)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt an red pepper flakes in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 20 seconds.
3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8-inch by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife (or a pizza or pastry wheel) cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch wide. Gentry transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment), leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The dough may sag or break occasionally in the transfer, but don't be concerned - just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.
4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.
5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days.
Thank you Smitten Kitchen for this fantastic recipe! I recommend doubling the recipe as these literally go so quickly. I hope you enjoy!