Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cheese straws

My friend brought these to an outing we had with the kids recently. The kids went crazy for them.

They were so perfect in size and texture that I thought they were a store bought treat (not the bad ones, I'm talking the very expensive gourmet ones) but then she said that she made them.

When I asked what was in them, she replied, "They have flour, butter, cheese and egg...oh, and a little milk to hold it together." I was sure that she failed to mention the salt, baking soda, baking powder and maybe something else? Then I proceeded to ask her to email me the recipe. The recipe arrived with just those five ingredients. I was shocked.

I thought I'd try to make them a little healthier with some whole wheat flour and some flaxmeal. Boy, was that a mistake! My daughter proceeded to ask if I had really followed the recipe because they didn't taste the way her friend's mom made them. Lesson learned. You can't change friend's recipes, especially after your kids have tried them.

These are delightful little cheese sticks, straws or whatever you want to call them. They really are a "treat", so treat them that way. Perhaps you should refrain from trying to make them healthier too. They are great with some cut up apples for a snack or as breadsticks with a salad.

Tara's Cheese Straws
A food processor makes this recipe super easy to whip up. If you don't have one, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Before baking, you can brush with a touch of water and sprinkle with poppy seeds, garlic salt or a touch of sea salt for a little something extra.

1 cup flour
3 tbsp butter (I used salted butter but I am sure you could use unsalted)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg
approx. 3 tbsp milk or buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a food processor, combine flour and butter. Then add cheese and egg. Add only enough milk until the mixture begins to form a ball.
3. Roll out approx. 5 mm thick and cut into slices (mine were 2cm X 11 cm).
4. Place on baking sheets (no parchment or oil necessary) and bake 12-16 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.

REVISION: January 19/2012:

Gruyere & Parmesan Herb Straws or Sticks

I made these again with gruyere and parmesan cheese in place of cheddar. I also added about 1/2 tsp of thyme leaf and subbed buttermilk for milk.

Before cutting, I brushed with with a tiny bit of melted butter and sprinkled with sea salt. I cut them into thin, skinny slices and baked for about 8 minutes, gently flipped them over and baked until golden and crispy, about 6-8 more minutes.

Served these with a soup and salad lunch- YUM!