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Friday
Dec162011

Cheese Straws

As seems to happen every year, Christmas snuck up on me. I had big plans for making fancy Christmas cookies, making a Bûche de Noël and watching all of my favorite Christmas movies. Instead, I haven't made a single cookie, there will be no Bûche de Noël on our Christmas table and Love Actually is the only holiday movie I have watched.

That said, this holiday season has been festive and full of friends, small gatherings, visits from friends and family, hunting for a Yule Log and a Christmas tree, and many holiday activities. To kick off the holiday season, we hosted a trivia night a few weeks ago. Rob perfectly executed the trivia portion of the night (each guest submitted a category and Rob prepared questions in each category - note that two of our categories were West Virginia Potpourri and Former Soviet Bloc Countries) and I was in charge of food. I didn't want to be doing last-minute cooking so I went entirely with dishes that could be prepared ahead of time, including a party favorite of mine from Smitten Kitchen - Cheese Straws.

These cheese straws are ideal for parties - they don't require a napkin, plate or silverware, they can be prepared in advance, and there is a good chance you have everything you need to make these in your refrigerator or pantry. So, if you are heading to a Christmas Eve party tomorrow, these could be perfect snack to whip up to share!

Cheese Straws
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon heavy cream (I think milk will work, too)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the heavy cream and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a pizza wheel (if you have it, otherwise use a sharp knife), cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4- to 1/3-inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to a parchment-lined cookie sheet , leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The straws can be any length, but I prefer them longer (8-10").

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days. I like serving mine standing up in a glass - and add some festive wax or tissue paper for a nice touch.

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Reader Comments (6)

You need to post pictures of your buche de noel from last year! That was incredible. These straws look yummy and simple...perfect! Merry Christmas Darcy!

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterali

Merry Christmas, Ali! Perhaps I'll make it a New Years buche de noel?

December 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterDarcy Eden

These are such an easy and delicious party appetizer. I love making them!

January 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Julie, thanks for reminding me that these are a great party appetizer. I'd forgotten about them!

January 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterDarcy Eden

Saw these on pinterest today so I had to come and see your post. I re-pinned them too. They look perfectly delicious!

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee - Kudos Kitchen

Thanks for stopping by, Renee! These are delicious and I hadn't made them in ages - thanks for reminding me about them and let me know if you make them!

April 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterDarcy Eden

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