Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cheese Straws

Have you ever been invited to a dinner party or gathering where you needed to bring something, but had absolutely no creative spark or time to ignite that creative spark?  Sometimes it can be hard to get everything done with family and kids and still make something "guest-worthy."  I found myself with this problem recently,  where I had neither the ingredients nor the time to make what I was originally planning to bring to a book club meeting.  Perusing my trusted "The New Best Recipe" by America's Test Kitchen gave me the needed inspiration.  Plus I had some puff pastry in the freezer that was just begging to be used. These cheese straws are cheesy and salty and oh so addicting!  And they're easy.  Bonus!  Use as an appetizer, side dish or to dip in your soup.  They're delicious.

*Note:  This recipe requires the use of parchment paper.  I always keep it on hand, so it doesn't seem like special equipment to me, but I realize many may not have it around.  So, go get some!

1/2 box (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm or Trader Joe's), thawed on the counter for 10 minutes
2 oz. Parmesan or Asiago cheese, freshly grated (1 cup) (I did not freshly grate it, but I did use shredded cheese)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

*Thaw the puff pastry on the counter as you preheat the oven and grate the cheese.
Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or Silpats) and set them aside.  Lay the puff pastry on a sheet of parchment and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1/8 tsp. each of salt and pepper.  Place a sheet of parchment over the cheese and, using a rolling pin, press the cheese into the dough by gently rolling eh pin back and forth.  Without removing the parchment, carefully flip the dough over, cheese-side down.  Remove the tip layer of parchment and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, salt and pepper.  Cover the pastry with the parchment.  Measure the piece of dough and continue to roll it out if necessary to form a 10 1/2 inch square.

Remove the tip sheet of parchment and, using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into fourteen 3/4 inch wide strips.  Gently twist each strip of dough and transfer it to a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing the strips about 1 inch apart.

Bake immediately until fully puffed and golden brown, about 10 minutes, reversing the positions of the baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through the baking time.  Remove the straws from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.  The cheese straws, completely cooled, can be strored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Source: The New Best Recipe

1 comment:

  1. After trying these at book group, I couldn't wait to make them again for my family. They're now Cami's favorite new side and she gets annoyed at me every time I forget to buy puff pastry at the store. :)