Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cheese Straws

These make a great party snack to have on hand with a pre-dinner drink. Recipe makes 28-32 straws.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 ounces (90 g) butter, chilled and diced
1 ounce (30 g) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 ounces (60 g) mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper into a bowl.
2. Rub in the butter with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheeses with a round-bladed knife.
3. Gradually add about 1/4 cup cold water, stirring to mix to a firm dough.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 10 x 10 inch (25 x 25 cm) square. For twisted straws, cut the dough lengthwise into 14 or 16 equal strips. Cut each strip in half and twist into 28 or 32 ropes. Alternatively, cut out shapes with fancy pastry cutters. Put on a non-stick baking tray.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Put on a wire rack to cool completely.

Tip: For a tasty crunch, sprinkle the straws with sesame, poppy or caraway seeds. When cutting the dough into strips, use a lightly floured, sharp knife.

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