Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws.  They are exactly what they sound like.  Like cheez-itz, but less processed-tasting, and in long, thin, stick-like form.  They're super simple and easy to make, and taste like nothing more than sharp cheddar cheese with a tad bit of red pepper mixed in.

I made them as part of the food arrangements for our gender-reveal party.  Our party was in the evening, and I made the cheese straws earlier on in the day.  I had a hard time keeping Jeremy away from them.  Pretty sure he ate almost half the batch before the party started.  I don't really have much else to say about these fun little snacks, except that they are easy, cheesy, and delicious!

Cheese Straws
from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
1 Tbsp half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, combine the cheese, flour, salt and red pepper flakes.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (this step can also be done with a few pulses by a food processor, but mine is embarrassingly tiny, so I used a pastry blender).  Then cut in (or pulse a few more times) the half-and-half, until the mixture starts to stick all together.  

Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a large rectangle, until it is about 1/8 inch thick  With a sharp knife or pizza roller, make thin strips.  They were a little crumbly for me, so I rolled each strip between my hand and the counter-picture making a snake out of playdough.  Like that.

transfer the straws to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until they are slightly hardened and edges are lightly browned.  Cool and enjoy!

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