This family recipe was first published on my blog 6 years ago. Based on the numbers of visits since then, the post has been a constant favorite ever since. If you want to bring something special that’s not hard to make to a holiday party this season, try it out!
Cheese straws are my favorite offering to bring to holiday gatherings. The recipe comes from my maternal grandmother’s family from Orangeburg, South Carolina. The tradition has been passed down from mother to child for generations. There are cheese straws and then there are these cheese straws, which always get a lot of attention. I’m working on teaching my sons how to make them – they sure like to eat them! The trick is to use the sharpest cheddar cheese you can get and to roll them as thinly as possible.
Ingredients: 3 Cups flour, 2 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s), 1 tsp. dried mustard, 1 cup butter, 8 oz. very sharp cheddar cheese. Start by mixing the flour, salt and dried mustard in a bowl.
Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, like you are making pie crust.
Grate the cheddar cheese and stir it in with the flour mixture.
Dribble ice water into the mixture and combine until it sticks together in a doughy consistency. Don’t let it get too soggy!
Divide into balls, handling the dough as little as possible. Then wrap the balls and refrigerate for a few hours.
Roll out the dough balls as thinly as possible and cut in strips with a pastry wheel.
Spread the straws out on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. They may take longer to cook, so check them often and switch pans to different racks during baking time.
They don’t take long to cool, so immediately sample a few. Now, put them out and watch them disappear! They can be saved in a tin and make a great gift, too.
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