Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cheese Straws

Cheese straws have always been a favorite holiday indulgence of mine, and after seeing the ingredient list for my first shot at the home made version, I understood why.  3 sticks of butter?!   Really?  It all makes sense now...

These were surprisingly easy and so fun to make.  The addition of horseradish and cayenne pepper give them a nice kick and next time around, I might even add more, depending on who my tasters are.  These were a big hit at John's family Thanksgiving! They freeze really well and I put the rest out at our party on Saturday.

I found the recipe in one of my favorite local cookbooks: The World At Our Table.  This is a collection of recipes submitted by parents of students at Woodward Academy - where John and his siblings went to high school.  My mother in law gave us this cookbook last year and I've found several really interesting recipes in it.  The cookbook has a really nice international flair and I look forward to trying some of the unique Indian recipes.  But, back to the cheese!  

1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/4 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cream butter, cheese, and horseradish together well.  Sift remaining ingredients together and add to the cheese mixture.  Thoroughly mix with fingers.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.  Roll out on floured board and cut into desired shapes (I used a pizza wheel to cut into straws).  

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool before serving.  This makes about 100 - 150 straws.

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