Author Notes: A Southern classic, these cheddar cheese sticks are adjusted to the southwestern pallet. If you want, omit the spice, you can paint the straws with egg wash before you bake them and add some sesame seeds or poppy seeds. These sticks are a little delicate but they are worse than potato chips when it comes to "you can't eat just one!" —WileyP
Makes: about 30 7" long cheese straws
cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
teaspoon table salt
tablespoon low-salt Southwestern seasoning mix or mild chili powder
teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
tablespoons heavy cream
- Adjust two oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the cheese, flour, butter, salt, Southwestern seasoning and ground cayenne pepper until it resembles coarse meal. Add the cream and pulse until a ball forms.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough with a sharp knife or pizza cutter into 1/4-inch wide strips. Transfer the strips to your prepared sheet pans, leaving half an inch space between them. Bake them in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Flip the pans once halfway through the cooking time. Cool completely on the sheet pans before serving.