Cheese Straws

A recipe taken from America: The Cookbook
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Cheese Straws
Cheese Straws

Popular in Virginia, and overall a staple of Southern cocktail parties, open houses, and holiday gatherings, cheese straws are a savory shortbread made of flour, butter, and cheese — usually cheddar, but sometimes with cheddar and Parmesan. “Straws” refers to the shape when made with a cookie press, though cheese straws can also be round like biscuits.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 8-10 dozen

Ingredients

3 sticks (340 g) unsalted butter, softened

1 lb (455 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

4 cups (520 g) all-purpose (plain) flour

Method

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, cheddar, salt, cayenne, and paprika. Beat at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. On low speed, beat in the flour, 1/2 cup (65 g) at a time, and continue to mix until blended completely. Place the dough in a piping bag or a 1-gallon (3.8-liter) resealable plastic food bag with a 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) long opening cut from one corner. Pipe 2-inch (5 cm) long strips 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) apart onto the parchment paper. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

BUY AMERICA: THE COOKBOOK

With 800 home-cooking recipes, America: The Cookbook is a celebration of the remarkable diversity of American food and food culture state by state. Features 50 essays and menus from a 'who's who' of 100 foremost food experts and chefs.

America: The Cookbook is the first book to document comprehensively – and celebrate – the remarkable diversity of American cuisine and food culture. A thoroughly researched compendium of 800 home-cooking recipes for delicious and authentic American dishes, America: The Cookbook explores the country's myriad traditions and influences, regional favourites and melting-pot fusion – the culinary heritage of a nation, from appetizers to desserts and beyond. A unique state-by-state section features essays and menus from a 'who's who' of 100 foremost food experts and chefs.