My mother’s light, buttery cheese straws are always gone within minutes at drinks parties, people always ask for the recipe and we always double the quantity!
- 100g (4 oz) Plain (All Purpose) Flour
- 50g (2 oz) Unsalted Butter, cold from the fridge
- 50g (2 oz) Cheddar Cheese, grated on the smallest hole
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- 1 Egg Yolk, beaten
- Mix the flour, cayenne and a pinch of sea salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, cut into small cubes and rub together until the mixture is sandy. (I’ve described the rubbing in method a bit more in my Mummy’s Mince Pies recipe.)
- Add the cheese and the egg yolk, and using a small palette knife (we don’t have one at the French house so I just used a regular sharp knife, it takes longer but works) create cutting motions through the mixture, slowly turning the bowl to bring the dough together into a ball. Depending on your cheese and the temperature of the kitchen, you may need to add a little cold water to make the mixture come together. Use your hands to gather it into a ball, wrap in cling film / food wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (400 degrees fahrenheit). Once the dough has chilled, carefully roll out on a lightly floured surface as thin as you dare. It honestly does not matter, just think biscuit. Mummy makes these a lot thinner than I do, but she’s had a lot of practice and she’s much better at pastry than I am. Go for whatever you feel comfortable with, and remember practice makes perfect.
- Use a ruler and a sharp knife to cut into straws (or any other shapes, when we’re making these at home we always make the scraps into star shapes with the one and only festive cutter we own!) and transfer onto a non-stick baking sheet. There is so much fat in the butter and cheese in these cheese straws that you won’t need baking parchment or to grease the tins.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until golden (you’ll need to keep an eye on these, cooking time will depend on how thin you’ve rolled the dough) and transfer to a wire rack to cool.