Thursday, July 26, 2012

Going for the Gold-Cheese Straws

I love to cook and you might think with the title, that this post will be about hosting an Olympic Party.  Sorry--but it isn't about the Olympics.  It is about gold, though.  It's about CHEESE STRAWS--cooked to golden perfection.                                                               

It's about a favorite party goodie that we southern folks just love. 
If your having a tea, a coffee or a wedding here in the south,
you're going to want to serve your guests some cheese straws.
I have always admired the perfect cheese straw.
  A nice lady here in my town named Dorothy used
 to make the BEST cheese straws.  Hers were
 beautiful and perfect-tasting every time.
You could actually be at a social event and eat a cheese straw
 and know if Dorothy had made it.
Over the years, I have used her recipe and the recipe of
another sweet lady named Mary Lovett.  I have taken both of their
 recipes and combined them for the recipe I use today.
My sweet niece is getting married next Saturday and I am making the cheese
 straws for the reception.  I'm making a thousand.  That's right.  I want to make sure
 that every person who attends this event has several of my yummy cheese straws.
Here's what you'll need to make the cheese straws

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
24 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
4 dashes hot sauce
(This recipe makes 200)

First, grate the cheese. 
 Yes, grating the cheese does better in the recipe
 than the pre-grated packages.

Cream the butter and add the cheese.

Mix the cheese and butter together.

Add the flour, baking powder, garlic salt, red pepper and hot sauce.
You can taste the dough and see if you want you make it with a little more spice.
Mix well.

You will need a press to make the cheese straws. 
I use a star tip to make the 2 1/2 inch long straws.
I eye ball it--and they seem to turn out pretty well.
Place the cheese straws on a greased cookie sheet.

Try to arrange the straws on the cookie sheet so they are nice and straight!
I make forty on each cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.  Bake on the top rack in the oven, one sheet at time.  Test for desired crunchiness at 12 minutes.  Return to oven if you want them to be a little crunchier.  

Cool on a rack. 
Store in air-tight containers.  Cheese straws may be frozen.

The perfect cheese straw is at home on
 pewter, a silver tray or a paper napkin. 

 I hope you'll try this recipe.  Let me know if you do!

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Rattlebridge Farm
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