Savory and rich with just a bit of a peppery bite, cheese straws are great party snacks. They're especially easy to make and travel well.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 (1-pound) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups all-purpose flour
How to Make It
Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until blended. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined.
Use a cookie press with a star-shaped disk to shape mixture into long ribbons, following manufacturer's instructions, on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cut ribbons into 2-inch pieces.
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Cheese Wafers: Combine ingredients as directed; chill dough 2 hours. Shape dough into 4 (8-inch-long) logs; wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container 1 week.
If you don't have a heavy-duty stand mixer, you can use a handheld mixer. Just divide the ingredients in half, and work with two batches.
This is the perfect recipe for cheese straws.The important keys to this recipe are: 1) You MUST freshly grate the cheese. You can use a grater attachment on a food processor, but you cannot substitute pre-grated packaged cheese, because it is too dry.2) The butter must be so soft, it is nearly liquid. If you use cold butter, you will make a pie crust instead of cheese straws.3) The cheese must be room temperature.4) You must cream the cheese and VERY SOFT butter in the mixer until very creamy. I used the paddle attachment.5) If you use salted butter, you can use a little less salt. I used kosher salt.6) Do not substitute whole wheat flour. It won't work. 7) Measure the all purpose flour carefully by spooning and leveling each cup with a knife.8) Add and mix flour one cup at a time.9) Use parchment paper and a baking sheet.10) Pre-heat the oven, and start with a cool baking sheet.11) Taste the dough after adding 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper. You can always add more, but that was sufficient for my taste.12) After baking, remove the cheese straws with the parchment paper from the baking sheets to a cool kitchen counter.13) You MUST use a cookie press with a star disc. PERFECT EVERY TIME!!!!
I made the cheese straws this evening and they were a hit! Heed the other reviews. I did everything according to the recipe (except the type of pepper). The cheese straws came out beautifully. Hand grating the cheese is work, but the difference is noticeable immediately. The fresh grated cheese looks less dry than the pre-shredded and has a better color. I let it sit out about an hour after shredding to come up to room temperature. SouthernLights is right on the butter! Mine was a perfect consistency after 20 seconds in the microwave. Everything wasblended in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I dumped it all in, used the whip and let it run. Don't panic if it looks like coarse pie crust in a minute. Stir it to see if it is moist. If it is, leave the mixture alone and let the mixer work a little longer. I almost panicked and added water when the mixture looked crumbly. Then I stirred it and noticed the mixture looked moist, just not wet. It looked much better after a couple more minutes in the blender.The paprika flavor did not come through well. I would bump that up next time. I was out of red pepper and substituted white pepper with a dash of ground black pepper. The results were good. You can probably go with whatever flavor your family likes best. I'm going to try it with chili powder next time and anticipate that the substitution will go favorably.My new Wilton cookie press did not come with a star tip. I used the large flat tip instead. The mixture came out easily. This made a cracker sized cheese bite which my family is enjoying.I read where they should last a week in a tightly covered container. There's no way they'll last that long in this house! My best hope is the straws will make it through tomorrow afternoon.
I don't have a cookie press, so I made the cheese wafers. The result was a very crumbly shortbread type cookie that tasted cheesy. Not offensive, but certainly not exciting. I did substitute 1 C of wheat flour for the white flour, which may explain why they were so crumbly. But the taste wasn't enticing enough to try to recipe again.
Same recipe I have been using for years; I serve them at Christmas to help balance all the sweeties going around. For the person who complained that the proportions were wrong, and there was no liquid: there isn't supposed to be. This is a VERY short dough, much like a savory shortbread, and the butter and cheese, properly softened, will take in all the flour. It is very important also to wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for a bit if you are going to be making wafers, as it allows the dough to settle. Only if you are going right to the cookie press should you proceed directly from mixing to shaping. Using extra-sharp cheddar guarantees plenty of flavor, since "sharp" cheddars can vary a lot in flavor. Try it again, adding no liquid and using the full amount of flour, and be sure to mix it all well.
Easy to make. I didn't have a cookie press so I rolled the dough to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and used mini holiday cookie cutters to cut out shapes and baked as directed. I didn't chill before hand but what I wasn't using at the time, I did put in the frig.
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