Friday, October 22, 2010

Cheese Straws

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Cheese straws are a great little nibble to enjoy with your cocktail or mocktail!  I had never heard of a cheese straw until I moved to Georgia.  I saw them in the stores and gave them a try.  They were pretty good but I'm a Cheez-it freak and could not forsake my Cheez-it's for the cheese straws.  As fate would have it a friend of mine recently asked me if I had a great cheese straw recipe.  Which I did not.  Her question inspired me to find and add a cheese straw recipe to my repertoire.  Knowing in the back of my mind I would still be buying Cheez-its from the grocery.   I must say somehow I got lucky on the first try.  I found a recipe from Edna Lewis, the Julia Childs of southern cooking, and Scott Peacock that is outstanding.  I have now fallen in love with the cheese straw!  They make my heart go pitter patter!  The difference between a homemade cheese straw and a store bought cheese straw is UNBELIEVABLE!  I would choose a homemade cheese straw over a Chez-It every time!  However, if a homemade cheese straw was not available I would still eat a Cheez-it :-).

Here's what you'll need:
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (2 1/2 cups)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons water

Sift together the flour, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper.

In another bowl beat the butter and cheese until well mixed

Gradually add in the flour.  Once all the flour is mixed in add the water and beat for 1 minute.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times.  Roll out the dough on wax paper into a 12x9 rectangle.  Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate 15 minutes.  While the dough is chilling preheat the oven to 425.

Cut the dough in half crosswise then cut into 6 inch by 1/4 inch strips.  I have a crinkle cut veggie cutter that I used to get the crinkle edge.  A pizza cutter would work nicely as well.

Transfer the strips to a cookie sheet.  Bake one cookie sheet at a time for about 14 minutes or until the cheese straws are golden brown and crisp.  

Let cool slightly and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in a tightly sealed container or baggie.  They actually improve in flavor when they are made a day in advance of serving.

Quote of the Day

Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.

       ~Theodore Isaac Rubin

This recipe has been linked up with the following linky parties.  Stop by and see what  delicious dishes others brought.  

Sunday Potluck @ Mommy's Kitchen



  1. Hey Shannon, I love my cheese straws too! My grendaddy used to make them every year for the holidays but he would put them in a cookie press. I think your way is much easier and less clean up! Thanks for the new method. Brandon

  2. yum! I've made cheese straws before and you're right - they're absolutely delicious. Still ove cheez-its though :)