This blog is slowly becoming less and less healthy– we’ve gone from quinoa to chocolate cake in just a few weeks. However, I think this week’s entry offers an important caveat. By learning how to make these, you may well free yourself from ever feeling the need to purchase snack foods again. Or at least Cheeze-Its and other such nibbles. We’ve got to start somewhere.
These are cheese straws. You should get to know each other, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time together. For all intents and purposes, these are glorified cheese crackers, whose ilk haunt the isles of every grocery store ever (especially late at night, when your impulse control is…hindered). There are important differences though. These taste like cheese. They are buttery and flaky. And you can put spicy bits in them, which may be the only deterrent from eating all of these in one go.
You’ll need a food processor to make these, but otherwise they’re really low-tech.
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 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half-and-half (or milk)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, combine cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper flakes. Pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until it resembles dough. Pull out the dough and form it into a ball with your hands.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Using either a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips (6 inches long seems to hold up the best).
Place these strips onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake on the middle rack for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly browned at the ends.
You can make any shape really, but they’re called cheese straws and so straws are what was made. Enjoy in excessive quantities.
Recipe credit given to Smitten Kitchen @smittenkitchen.com.