Cheese Straws (or homemade cheeze-its)
I made these cheese straws to accompany a salad. Delicious and soooo easy. You most likely have the ingredients for them in your house right now! Make them!
I’ve made these before from a very similar recipe, it’s quite foolproof and adaptable.
As you can tell, I burned the little pieces. They cook up much faster than the straws — if you make both sizes, cook them on different pans so you can remove the little ones before they burn.
First you make the dough, either with a mixer or by hand.
Then you can mix things into the dough. This is optional, but I did mustard, herbes de provence and black pepper, curry powder, tandoori powder, and chili powder. Yummy!
Roll it out and cut it into whatever shape you feel like.
Wait 10-15 minutes, and devour!
They look pretty, too!
(from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated flavorful cheese. Cheddar is standard, but cheddar costs outrageous prices in France, so I used a mix of Gouda and Emmental and it was very good
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon milk, cream, half and half or the like (I ended up using a bit more)
Spices to mix in
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
If you have a food processor, use it to combine the cheese, butter, flour and salt in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.
If you do not, mix the flour, cheese and sale, then use a pastry knife or your fingers to crumble the butter in. The goal is to end up with pieces of butter than are at most the size of a pea (this is what will make your crackers flaky — it’s the same idea as making biscuits). Then add the milk and knead into a dough that should not feel sticky but shouldn’t be falling apart.
Split your dough into however many flavors you want to have, and knead in the different spices until they are well mixed. If you are making the whole batch one flavor, you can add it to the flour at the very beginning.
On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out about 1/8-inch thick, then cut with a sharp knife. You can make straws as I did, or small squares, or go crazy with tiny cookie cutters if you’ve got them… don’t make large shapes, though, they wouldn’t have time to properly crisp up before the edges burned. Then transfer to a cookie sheet.
Bake the straws on the middle rack for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool. If you chose to make squares, watch the oven carefully, they may take less than 10 minutes.
According to smitten kitchen, these will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days. I wouldn’t know, because I ate them all right away!