Hello!! Welcome to a whole new world—again! One where you will be looking for something to nibble on with the tipple of your choice. I said nibble, and if you can just nibble these you are a better piggy than I am. They are delicious and so far from the usual cracker and toppings and they are easy peasy and last well but you won’t have to worry about that. They go fabulously with soup, of course, especially tomatoey ones like the roast tomato one I will share with you next week—or go ahead and make your own. Real simple, with roast garlic, a roasted onion and blitzed into a coma meaning you won’t have to peel them! Do NOT use tinned ones. I know it’s tempting but they do NOT roast well.
Cheddar and Herb Cheese Straws
Servings: About 55 Cheese Straws – yes you need them all.
- 230g (2 packed cups) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Scant teaspoon crushed red pepper or chilli flakes
- 1-1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary and/or thyme
- 115g (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter (use salted then omit the additional salt)
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Set two oven racks in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheese, flour, salt, red pepper flakes and herbs. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Cut the butter into 15mm – 1/2-inch chunks and add to the flour/cheese mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some pea-size clumps of butter within. Add the heavy cream and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together into a mass.
- Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour and use your hands to shape into a rectangle about 1-inch high. Cut the rectangle in half.
- Dust the work surface with more flour and roll each block of dough into a 200 x 250mm rectangle about 6-8mm thick (turn the dough as you go and add more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim the edges straight without sacrificing too much dough, then cut the dough into thin strips about 15mm wide. Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about a 15mm of space between them. Bake the straws for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a rich golden color on the bottom, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through. Remove from the pans from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Carefully transfer the cheese straws to a plate and serve.
- Note: The cheese straws will keep well in a covered container for a few days.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Shape the dough into 2 rectangles, about 1 inch thick, wrap each securely in plastic wrap, and place them in a sealable bag. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the freezer, thaw it until pliable, and then proceed with recipe. To Freeze After Baking: Let the cheese straws cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.
- Note: If you do not have a food processor to mix, cut the ingredients together in a bowl until combined – then follow recipe from number 4.