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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cheese Straws



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The holidays aren't far away and that means it's time to start planning meals and snacks for family and friends who inevitably drop by when there's a long weekend. I've a general idea of what to serve for what will be a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner and have started formalizing my attack plan for the snacks that I want to have available for visitors. I like to make these cheese straws because they can be prepared well ahead of time and frozen to be baked off as needed. While these are intended as snacks, they are also a wonderful accompaniment to soups, particularly those that are tomato based.






Australian Busters











Tomato Jam






I've also made a batch of Busters which I featured here last year and will be making a tomato jam to be served with a good goat cheese on thinly sliced baguettes. There will, of course, be other treats, but I can relax once these are set to go. I prefer to use an Asiago cheese to make these but you can use any hard cheese that you like. It's best to use a microplane to grate the cheese. If it's too soft put it in the freezer for an hour or so and then proceed. The straws can be shaped by hand or formed with a cookie press if you prefer a fancy more uniform appearance. I've done mine by hand and lightly scored the tops with the dull edge of a knife. Be forewarned that this is a very soft dough and it can be difficult to shape. Refrigerate dough if needed. If you freeze the straws, freeze them in a single layer and then transfer to a storage bag. Baked straws will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days though they will become more brittle as they age. This is a really simple recipe that produces a lot of bang for the buck. I hope you'll give them a try. Here's the recipe which I've adapted from one developed by William-Sonoma.

Cheese Straws...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite and the William Sonoma test kitchen

Ingredients:
8 ounces Asiago Cheese, finely grated
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1-3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

1) Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2) Combine cheese, butter, egg, flour, salt and cayenne pepper in bowl of food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth.
3) Fill a cookie press with the dough according to the manufacturer's instructions and fit with the star-shaped disk. Holding the cookie press at an angle on an ungreased or Silpat-lined cookie sheet, press the trigger twice, dragging the press away to make straws 3 inches long. Space the straws 1 inch apart. To make straws the length of the cookie sheet, continually press the trigger and drag the press away, spacing the straws 1 inch apart. Alternatively, break dough into 60 equal sized pieces and roll until 3-inches long. Place 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
4) Bake until straws are light golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer straws to wire racks and let cool. Straws may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Yield: 60 three-inch straws.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Tiny Gougeres with Scallions, Parsley and Lemon - She's in the Kitchen
Parmesan Cheese Sticks - Easy Appetizers
Cheesy Pepperoni Bites - The Other Side of Fifty
Basil Parmesan Crackers - The Sweet's Life
Pesto Palmiers - What's Cookin, Chicago?
Pear and Goat Cheese Crostinis - Grillin Fool

35 comments:

Ginny said...

How yummy everything looks! I haven't heard of cheese straws in a while, I don't think I've ever eaten any! I wish restaraunts would offer them as an alternative to bread sticks. And those Busters look so good that I had to click to see the recipe!

Katerina said...

These straws are ideal for gatherings and parties. Thanks for sharing Mary!

penny aka jeroxie said...

You plan well ahead! And chess straws are also good eaten by itself... heh

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Oh loved readin ur Indian story and sooo hope ur better now Mary!!
Am sooo gladdd ur back!!
Hope ur luggage gets back too!
Oh this is so totally yummy lusciously good, every pairing always fantastic!!

Priya said...

I dont bother to grab some cheese straws and eating now..yummy..

EliFla said...

I want these straws..NOW!!!! Yummmmmmmmm

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

They look great Mary! I've never had a cheese straw, might make a batch:@)

Pam said...

These sound like a perfect holiday snack!

Sanjeeta kk said...

Lovely starters and snack for any day.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely assortment of appetizers Mary. You are really organized.

Being an ole southern gal, I adore cheese straws. They are very addictive and I'm dangerous if I stand by them for very long. Look around and they're gone....
Sam

Joan said...

I have made cheese straws all my life, but I like the idea of using Asiago cheese for a certain bite. Thanks, Mary.

From the Kitchen said...

I cut my teeth on cheese straws! My recipe doesn't call for Asiago but it sounds like a delicious addition. It is time to let the holiday baking begin.

Best,
Bonnie

Design Wine and Dine said...

I have actually been thinking about cheese straws as YES the perfect time of year to have homemade ones on hand!

Thanks for the recipe, the look great!

Natalie said...

I love making my own crackers (thanks for the link!) and have been wanting to try cheese straws. Great recipe!

pigpigscorner said...

Nice spread of snacks! The cheese straws are perfect for any occasion!

aipi said...

cheese straws look mighty gorgeous..i am drooling :)..nice recipe Mary!

US Masala

Jess @ Bakericious said...

this is definitely great for snack, I wish to have some now!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

This is my 1st visit! I found you via Susan at SCHNITZEL AND THE TROUT. I try to cook like you, easy and good ingredients, tasty, and healthy. Sounds like you enjoyed your trip to India - despite getting "beat-up." Your photo's are lovely. Please "visit" me in New England when you have a moment. I love company and new Followers are always welcome!

Jeannie said...

Hmmm I like the look of those cheese straws and the busters! I am sure would taste delicious dipping into the jam.

Cathy said...

I much prefer a savory snack to a sweet one and cheese is always at the top of my list. It's great to have you back home again, Mary. I hope you post lots of photos and info about your trip. It sounds like it was quite an adventure (and a bumpy one).

~RED~ said...

Thank you! They look wonderful. I bet i could eat a whole plate!

Monet said...

I have made these before, and they are always such a hit! You are right that they would be perfect for the holidays. I'm wanting to host a party sometime in the next few weeks, and these will be making an appearance. Thank you for sharing!

Joanne said...

These are some FANTASTIC appetizer ideas. I'm especially enamored with that tomato jam. Think I'm going to have to give that a shot.

Alessandra said...

Asiago is the fantastic cheese they make in my mother's part of Italy... I already miss it!!! Not so easy to find here in New Zealand! I love bread stick and cheese straws, these look fantastic,perfect with a glass of chilled white wine!
THank you for the recipe, and for talking about Asiago!

ciao
Alessandra

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I have such a weakness for these yet have never made them myself. As it turns out I happen to have all the ingredients on hand... Woo hoo!

JG said...

What a nice treat to make for the holidays! It would be great to take out of the freezer and bake as needed. Thank you, Mary.
~Judy

Michael Toa said...

cheese straws = yum.
Perfect for holiday snack... or anytime.
Have a great day. Michael

My Little Space said...

Can we freeze the potatoes busters as well? That would be so nice if we can prepare everything before hands. I'm planning to make that tomato jam. Hope you're having a great day, Mary.
Blessings, Kristy
p/s any news about your luggage?

The Teacher Cooks said...

Have made cheese straws for years but never with Asiogo cheese. I will have to try them.

Josie said...

They sound so easy to make! they look very yummy! : )

Julie m. said...

These looks delicious Mary! Being from Wisconsin, if it has the word cheese in it, you can count me in. :)

Pam said...

I could eat way too many of those cheese straws - they look delicious. I WILL be making your tomato jam soon... I can't wait.

We Are Not Martha said...

I've always wanted to make my own cheese straws... And you make it seem so easy! Definitely perfect for a holiday party :)

Sues

Angie's Recipes said...

I love cheese straws! Your recipe seems not too complicated to prepare, maybe I should make some for the coming holiday.
Thanks, Mary, for sharing the recipe.
Angie

katrina said...

How delicious! I adore cheese straws - a passion I developed while living in the South. Got to make yours!

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