1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons half-and-half
How to Make It
Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.
Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chilled up to 3 days.
Four-Seed Cheddar Triangles: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and divide in half. Roll each half into a 9- to 10-inch round. Transfer rounds to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tsp. water just until foamy. Stir together 1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds; 1/4 cup roasted sunflower kernels; 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds; and 2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds. Brush rounds with egg white mixture, and sprinkle with seed mixture. Cut each round into wedges of random sizes, using a fluted pastry wheel. Separate wedges about 1 inch apart. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 24 to 32 triangles. Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 22 min., including dough.
3 More Cheese Straws:
Spicy Cheddar "Long" Straws: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 3 dozen. Hands-On Time: 15 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 26 min., including dough.
Pecan-Cheddar Buttons: Preheat oven to 300°. Prepare dough, and shape into 1-inch balls. Whisk together 2 egg whites and 2 tsp. water. Dip balls in egg white mixture, and roll in 2 cups finely chopped pecans. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 1 hour; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 4 1/2 dozen. Hands-on Time: 30 min.; Total Time: 3 hr., including dough.
Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-inch assorted star-shaped cutters; place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: 28 (3 1/2-inch) cookies or 72 (2 1/2-inch) cookies. Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 1 hr., 38 min., including dough. Note: Position cookie cutters closely together to cut out shapes; dough will be tough if rerolled.
I have neither a food processor or a stand mixer. So insted, I grated the cheese then used my cooking scissors to cut up the cheese into small pieces inside the bowl. I added the remaining ingredients and then put in the microwave for about 1min on power level 4 to gently soften the mixture. This was the perfect consistency to roll out & cut. I also added more cayenne..YUMMY!
My sister and mother made these before I did and warned me that they were not spicy enough. I added 1 teaspoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper. They are absolutely delicious! I am a professional caterer and taking these tonight for an event with dip...lovely and beautiful with the sesame seeds!