Cheese Straws (and stars and crowns and buttons)
Since I’ve been on a such a chocolate baking kick lately I thought I’d break it up a little and make a very Southern tradition, especially around the holidays. I mean I am loving all the chocolate things I’ve been making lately but a girl can’t live on chocolate alone…or she shouldn’t. So, I went to the next best thing…cheese. Just like chocolate, I could easily eat my weight in cheese. For that reason, I went a little overboard when purchasing my cheeses for my cheese straws. You’ll see in a minute. Please don’t judge.
I made some Homemade Pimento Cheese not long ago and it was fabulous so I thought I’d share another very Southern tradition with you also. Every Southern girl should know how to make a good cheese straw and if you’re really good, you’ll have them on hand to whip out anytime company stops by (even unannounced). I however, am not one of those girls. I do know how to make a killer cheese straw. The traditional variety with sharp cheddar and also different flavors using all kinds of beautiful cheeses but I never want unannounced company…ever. You will surely find me in either sweats or depending on the time of day, pj’s and you could very possibly find me in the kitchen with flour on my face and sugar in my hair. I’m not a great spur of the moment hostess. I do love to entertain but I’m also a planner and I can list an event to death. Yes, I just used list as a verb.
I also thought it would be fun to make several varieties with all sorts of fun cheeses and cut them in different shapes. I cut some in straw form but I also used cookie cutters to make stars, buttons and even these cute little crowns. I bought this crown cookie cutter and sent it to the ladies who were my cookie swap matches and I bought myself one of course. Cute, right?
Cheese straws really are pretty easy. You just mix up some cheese, cream, butter, flour, a little salt and then roll it out and cut with a fluted roller or cookie cutter and bake. Here are the cheeses and combinations I chose. The basic recipe is the same. I just altered the cheese type.
I used Shropfordshire which is a cheddar-ish blue variety that’s semi-soft. These were quite possibly my favorite.
Pepper jack and white cheddar were wonderful and only slightly spicy. Next time I think I’d add some jalapeño and red pepper.
I found a beautiful Dill Havarti and added fresh dill to it to give it a stronger flavor along with a nice Gruyere.
The next one I used what’s called a Cotswold cheese which is like a chive and soft cheddar. This was a tie with the Shropfordshire cheese for me.
And lastly, I used one of my favorite cheeses ever, Asiago Fresco, a little Parmesan and Bacon.
What’s your favorite combination? Which cheese will you pick? Will you be ready with cheese straws when company pops in?