Cheese straws are a very popular appetizer in the South and they are surprisingly easy to make with cheddar cheese and a little cayenne pepper. Every Southern cook has a recipe, and you will find the snack at most parties and festive gatherings.
Use sharp cheddar for the best flavor and don't skimp on the cayenne!
- 1 stick plus 6 tablespoons butter (14 tablespoons) (room temperature)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese (sharp)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (more or less)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Put the butter and cheese in the container of a food processor. Add the flour, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Cover and pulse until thoroughly blended.
- If a food processor is not used, put the flour, salt, and cayenne in a bowl. Add the butter, cheese, and Worcestershire, and using two knives or a pastry blender, blend thoroughly.
- Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or leave it ungreased.
- Roll small amounts of dough into a long tube about the width of a straw and cut into desired lengths. Or, roll dough out on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness, cut into strips, and gently twist. If you roll them into straw shapes, use a flat block or flat wide dish bottom to roll them uniformly. Arrange the strips on the baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the straws are crisp and lightly browned. Remove and let cool.