Yield: Makes about 2 dozen
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Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake: 12 Minutes
Cool: 30 Minutes
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.1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese $
3/4 cup all-purpose flour $
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon half-and-half $
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse in 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.
2. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and roll into an 8- x 10-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough with a sharp knife into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-wide strips, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until ends are slightly browned. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 30 minutes. Break into desired lengths.
Note: To make cheese rounds, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake and cool as directed. Freeze baked cheese straws or rounds in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic freezer bag up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Baking time is 12 minutes per batch.
Matt Lee and Ted Lee, Matt & Ted Leefrom their cookbook,The Lee Bros. Southern CookbookNorton, Southern Living
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