Tuesday, October 13, 2009

cheese straws, more plank than straw

i have not been to inspired to bake these days and i don't really know why. i do know that i have been thinking about cheese straws though. you know, those buttery, cheesy little crackers squeezed through your mama's cookie press and baked lightly till crispy. they are pretty common here in the southern u.s. and i just love'em. cheese straws make a great nibble paired with some salty green olives or homemade bread and butter pickles. although i didn't really need an excuse to make a batch, i thought they would be tasty with the big ole pot of bean and bacon soup i am making for supper. now, i need to clarify that my cheese straws are more like cheese planks. i did proudly use my mother's 1960's cookie press, but fitted it with the bar disk rather than the star, which would have given you more of a rope that you would need to cut into sections(straws). actually, any disk would work. next time, how about some cheese spritzes!

this recipe for cheese straws is crazy easy and can be made entirely in the food processor.

cheese straws

preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

1 8oz block sharp cheddar cheese(i use extra sharp)
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 stick of butter, softened(butter, not margarine)
one pinch of cayenne pepper or to your liking(i go easy on the cayenne for the kiddos)
.5 tsp salt

that's it. now, in your processor or by hand, grate the cheese. remove the shredder blade and replace with the steel knife blade. i just dump my grated cheese into another bowl, switch blades and right back in. add the butter, pulse a few times to get it going and then add the rest. you might need to pulse, take off the lid and push things around a bit, but it will magically become a dough ball. now fill your cookie press and start squeezing or twisting, in my case, onto parchment lined cookie sheets. i use silpats. bake about 11-12 minutes. when you smell them, they are generally done. cool and enjoy.

the bean and bacon soup came from here. this is one of my absolute favorite blogs. i did switch up the recipe a bit, instead of an onion, i used a shallot. i used two cans of navy and one can great northern beans. i opted for one large clove garlic instead of four average size. oh, also it was not quite thick enough for me, so i added a little cornstarch slurry. overall, this is a dynamite recipe. thanks pam!


Pam said...

The cheese straws have me drooling - I've never had them before.

Thanks for your sweet words about my blog and the link back to my site. I think your version of the soup sounds terrific!

Cheryl said...

Those look like cheese crackers to me and they look delish, I have seen them on Paula Deen's show and always wanted to make them!

noble pig said...

Don't those look delicious!!