My first attempt at making these cheese straws was a learning experience. If the dough mixture is too thick it’s a nightmare to get through a cookie press. If the dough mixture is too thin the straw will flatten out as they bake and you’ll end up with a pan full of sadness. But, I did finally get it just right and oh, man, are these cheese straws more than just a little addicting! Crunchy and packed with cheese flavor you can’t eat just one handful.
I dusted the baked cheese straws with cayenne and smoked paprika, but you could try other flavors too. Italian seasoning for example, for a more savory approach. Or perhaps a little Ranch dressing mix. You can also leave the seasoning off and just enjoy the wonderful cheese flavors.
I highly recommend that you shred or grate your own cheese at home. Don’t buy the pre-shredded or pre-grated stuff. It has stuff added to it to keep it from sticking together. That ‘stuff’ affects how the cheese melts. Shred it yourself and use the good stuff.
I think you could also try other cheeses, specially something like a Monterey Jack or Swiss.
Also try my deluxe cheddar pretzel bites.
- ½ cup butter plus 1-3 more tablespoons, softened
- 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese divided
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne plus more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika plus more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 1/2 cup of the butter in a mixer with the paddle attached.
- Add 1 cup of the cheese and mix for 5-7 minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides as it goes.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cayenne, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic powder.
- With the mixer still running, slowly add the flour mixture.
- Add the remaining cheese.
- Test the consistency of the batter. If it is really thick it might not go thru your cookie press or dessert decorator. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of the softened butter and mix. Continue until just thin enough to press but not thin and runny.
- Spoon mixture into your cookie press with a large star tip on the end.
- Pipe out onto the parchment paper.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and dust with cayenne and smoked paprika, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Nutritional values are approximate.