I’m linking this post up to Create It Thursday on Lambert’s Lately.
Ah, cheese straws.This delicious southern staple is one of my favorite things to eat, but, to be honest, they can be a big ole pain to make. Luckily, I’m stubborn when favorite foods get involved. After much trial and a whole lot of error, I’ve come up with some tips to hopefully take some of the stress out of making cheese straws. My sister had asked me to make cheese straws for a bridal shower she was hosting a couple weekends ago, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to gather everything in one post to share with y’all!
Do shred your own cheese. It makes a difference!
Do use a heavy duty stand mixer. This is a “do as I say not as I do” tip. I thought a food processor might be easier, but I was wrong. So for the batch in all these photos, I started out with a food processor, and mine will never be the same. Next time I’m sticking with my stand mixer.
Do know that parchment paper is your best friend!
Don’t try to make these if you’re in a hurry. You’re gonna be here a while.
How To Make Cheese Straws
You will need:
butter, all purpose flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, cheese, parchment paper, and a cookie press
For the cheese, look for a good sharp or extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese. I usually get Boar’s Head from the deli counter at Kroger.
Let’s talk about cookie presses. Technically any type of cookie press should work. After breaking a store bought manual AND a store bought electrical cookie press, I turned to Google for a better solution. I bought this vintage Mirro cookie press off of eBay for about $20 with shipping. Best decision. If you are planning to make a lot of cheese straws or spritz cookies, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It will save lots of frustration. You can definitely make a modern cookie press work if you’re more patient than me. You can also just roll the dough out and cut it into long strips instead of worrying with a cookie press.
The first thing I do after getting out everything I need is to line all my cookie sheets with parchment paper. To make things go a little quicker, I get out every standard size cookie sheet I own – 6 total – and space them out all over my kitchen counters. This way I don’t have to wait between batches.
Then, I shred my cheese using a box grater. I’ve also tried shredding it with the food processor before, but the heat of the blade makes the cheese soft faster and too hard to work with. Make sure your butter is softened to room temp. Add butter (I just use salted butter and slightly less salt than called for), your shredded cheese, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to your stand mixer and mix until combined. Gradually add in the four and mix until dough forms. It should look like this:
Pop the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. This just helps make it easier to press. After your dough has chilled some, you are ready to start pressing your cheese straws. I use a star disk that came with my press. Other presses have star shaped tips you can use. Or, you can use any shape you would like. Add dough (it definitely won’t fit all at once) to your cookie press and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Press out dough into long strips on your cookie sheet. Don’t worry if your dough breaks off before forming a long, continuous ribbon. Mine always does. Cut the ribbon into smaller pieces if needed.
Bake your cheese straws at 350 for 10-12 minutes. I cook two sheets full at once using both the top and bottom rack of my oven, and it turns out fine. Let cool and store in an air tight container.
Enjoy these incredible treats! The complete recipe is below.
Adapted from Southern Living
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temp
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Shred cheese using a box grater. Add cheese, butter, salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika to a stand mixer and mix until well combined. Gradually add in flour and mix until dough forms.
3. Chill dough in fridge for 15 minutes. Using a cookie press. Press out dough in long ribbons onto cookie sheet and cut apart into small pieces. Alternatively, roll out dough and cut in stress.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Store in an airtight container.