If you're planning an Oscar-watching party, be sure to include cheese straws on the menu. An elegant and crowd-pleasing dessert (or appetizer), cheese straws are wonderful for a party because they can be made in advance. I have two recipes here, both are pretty simple. One builds upon a premade dough, while the other uses a homemade version. To take a look at both and choose the one that suits your needs as a hostess,
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup grated Gruyére
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 (11-oz.) container refrigerated breadstick dough (recommended: Pillsbury)
Finely ground sea salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
- In a food processor, chop the Parmesan, Gruyere, and rosemary together until coarsely chopped. Set the cheese mixture aside.
- Separate the dough strips. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut each dough strip in half lengthwise to form thin strips.
- Working with dough strip one at a time, coat each strip with the cheese mixture, pressing very gently.
- Twist each cheese-covered dough strip and place onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the salt, if you wish.
- Bake until the breadsticks are golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the warm breadsticks to a basket and serve.
Makes 2 dozen.
1/4 lb. coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 tsp. salt
Rounded 1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 tbsp. milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
- Pulse cheese, flour, butter, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and pulse until dough forms a ball.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick).
- Cut dough with a lightly floured pizza wheel or lightly floured sharp knife into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Carefully transfer to 2 ungreased baking sheets, arranging strips 1/4 inch apart. (If strips tear, pinch back together.)
- Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen.
Make ahead: cheese straws can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.