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Basic Cheese Straw Dough

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck
Yield
Start with Basic Cheese Straw Dough to make simple cheese straws or crackers, or use as a base recipe to add  other savory additions to this basic dough recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (10 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

How to Make It

  1. Beat cheese, butter, half-and-half, and salt at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Form dough into a ball.

  2. Olive-Blue Moons

  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough as directed, adding 1 (6-oz.) can Spanish olives, drained and finely chopped, and 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled, before adding flour. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide dough into 2 equal portions, and flatten each into a disk; roll each to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch moon-shaped cutter. Place dough 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.

  4. Makes about 8 dozen.

  5. Bacon-Smoked Paprika-Cheddar Bars

  6. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough as directed, adding 4 cooked and crumbled applewood-smoked bacon slices, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, and 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper with flour. Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 equal portions; flatten each into a square. Roll out each square to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2- x 3/4-inch strips, using a fluted pastry wheel. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.

  7. Makes about 6 dozen.

  8. Pecan-Rosemary-Cheddar Buttons

  9. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough as directed, increasing half-and-half to 2 Tbsp. and adding 2 cups chopped toasted pecans and 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary with flour. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 4 equal portions, and flatten each into a disk; roll each disk to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.

  10. Makes about 6 dozen.

  11. Pimiento Cheese Squares

  12. Preheat oven to 350°. Drain 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento; pat dry with paper towels, and finely chop. Stir 1 tsp. ground mustard and 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper into 1 1/2 cups flour in dough recipe. Gradually add chopped pimiento to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Prepare dough as directed, omitting half-and-half. Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 equal portions; flatten each into a square. Roll each square to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 1 1/2-inch square cutter. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 15 to 20 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.

  13. Makes about 5 dozen.

  14. Parmesan-Basil-Cheddar Stars

  15. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough as directed, increasing half-and-half to 3 Tbsp. and adding 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil with flour. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 4 equal portions, and flatten each into a disk; roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 1 1/2-inch star-shaped cutter. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until golden; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes.

  16. Makes about 15 dozen.