June 4, 2012

Cheese Straws

Simple, quick, and tasty. Oh how I love making food that can be described with those words. I was fortunate to be the recipient of a cookbook from Parragon Books Ltd, called 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies, & Other Tempting Treats (Love Food). I’ve made a few items already and have found them to be solid recipes, and there are plenty more that I want to try. There are pictures for all of the recipes and almost every recipe has substitution ideas and quantities, which is helpful in case you don’t have an ingredient or don’t care for a particular flavor.

Most recently I made cheese straws, though I did make some very minor changes which are noted below in parenthesis. Also, you may have noticed by now that I do not egg wash anything that I bake, but that’s just me. To me the cheese straws fall between a biscuit and a cracker, flaky but holding up well when you bite into them so that you’re not left with a bunch of crumbs.

Cheese Straws
(reprinted with permission)
heaping 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of salt
1 tsp curry powder (I omitted)
4 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing (I used parchment lined pans to avoid greasing the pans)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
poppy and cumin seeds, for sprinkling (I omitted)

Sift the flour, salt, and curry powder into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and half the egg and mix to form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Grease several large baking sheets. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to 1/4 inch/5 mm thick, then cut into 3 x 1/2-inch/7.5 x 1-cm strips. Pinch the strips lightly along the sides and place on the baking sheets. (I twisted each strip prior to baking for added flair.)

Brush the strips with the remaining egg and sprinkle half with poppy seeds and half with cumin seeds. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 24 (mine were larger so I got 10 and then rolled the scraps of dough into crescents)

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