Do you love the taste of Southern-style homemade cheese straws, but hate all the fuss that goes into making them?
Whether you’re cutting and baking for perfectly round wafers or using a cookie press or piping bag for thin, delicate straws, there’s definitely a degree of difficulty involved when making cheese straws.
Of course, they are a classic when it comes to bridal and baby showers. And I bet you’d be hard pressed to find a wedding afternoon in the South that doesn’t feature some form of cheese straws on the menu. But damn, they can be a pain to make.
I love the Pimento Cheese Crisps from my cookbook made with this slice and bake method, but they take a lot of time and a bit of finesse. So we decided to share a recipe that gives you all the flavor of traditional cheese straws, but with a fraction of the work.
This method starts with a fairly classic cheese straw dough, much like the one in my book. But this dough is simply scooped out with a cookie scoop. When baked, the result is a perfectly crispy cheesecake cookie with that distinct grilled cheese flavor. (Is there anything more delicious than nearly burnt cheese? I don’t think so.)
You can even spice up these babies by using the tines of a fork to gently press down on the top of each ball of dough, giving you a bit of design and texture. If you find the fork starting to stick to the dough, simply dip it in a little water or flour to help.
When we were working on this recipe, Heather kept calling them “Cheese Happies”. I love that name and it’s kind of stuck. Every little cookie is a little bite of happiness, so it’s the perfect nickname. And although “cheese happies” doesn’t show up in search results when you search for the recipe, I added it to the title because I just couldn’t resist.
No matter what you name them, I guarantee you’ll call them delicious.
Do I really have to grate my own cheese?
Yes. Packaged pre-shredded cheese is a great shortcut product that I use all the time. However, grated cheese is coated with cornstarch and/or cellulose powder to prevent the cheese from sticking together in the wrapper. This anti-caking agent prevents the cheese from melting into the batter as it should in this recipe. This is also why I suggest grating your own cheese for my Chilli Cheese recipe.
Whether you’re serving them for your next shower, party, family reunion, or as a simple snack to have on hand, I know you’ll love their taste and how easy they are to prepare. You all appreciate.
Easy Cheese Straw Cookies
Preparation time:20 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
- 1 block (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (use more or less to taste)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Use a box grater to grate the cheese.
- Use a mixer to blend the cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper and mix to combine.
- Gradually add the flour and mix well.
- Use a 1½ tbsp scoop to scoop out the dough and place it about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan.
- If desired, use a fork to gently poke the teeth into the top of each cookie. Dipping the fork in water will help if the dough sticks.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Work in batches until all the dough is cooked.
- Store on the counter in an airtight container for up to a week.
This recipe originally appeared onSouthernBite.com. For more great recipes visit the website or check out “The Southern Bite Cookbook”.