Quick + easy + flavor. Christmas week musts!
It always feels like a funny so-close-yet-so-far thing, the last week before Christmas. On the one hand, work is hopefully winding down and things are done, but on the other hand I have 10 million more gifts to get and am LISTING MY HOUSE FOR SALE TOMORROW.
But time still marches on and we still have events that require goodies and hostess gifts and snacks, right? You get it.
Don't list your house for sale 5 days before Christmas. Trust me.
No matter how busy or unbusy you are this week, you definitely for sure need these cheese straws in your life. They're super easy because we use frozen puff pastry as the base, but sharp cheese and a few spices make them super tasty with very little effort. My grandmother always made traditional cheese straws, the kind that are like a shortbread and require piping. I loved them so much and miss her so much, but God BLESS I have nowhere near the kind of time or patience. This is the best imitation I can muster.
You need a sheet of frozen puff pastry, 2 kinds of cheese (grated parm and super duper sharp cheddar), seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper. Or skip it if you don't want any spice! These aren't very spicy at all, just the right amount.
Start by letting the puff pastry thaw for 45 minutes or so on the counter and preheating the oven to 400F. Then, sprinkle a big board with a tiny bit of each of the cheeses.
Place the puff pastry on the cheese layer, scatter the spices and the rest of the cheese all over it, and roll it out to about double its original size, give or take.
Now, carefully pull the pastry away from the board and fold it in half (so most of the cheese is between the pastry layers). Roll the pastry out again to the same big size, so now there is cheese on the inside and outside of the pastry. To make the cheese straws, use a super sharp knife to cut 1-inch wide strips of pastry. If any of the cheese falls out, just press it back into the pastry.
Twist each of the pastry strips into a coil, and place them on a baking sheet about 1-inch apart. You'll need 2 or even 3 baking sheets depending on how many strips you cut out of the pastry.
Bake the straws for 20 minutes or so until they look like this. Puffy, cheesy, golden, slightly spicy.
These are wonderful for a snack at any gathering you have in the next few weeks or even as a hostess gift with a bottle of wine or some fudge.
They're also not bad to just have on your counter all week for snack emergencies.
Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Sprinkle a large board or rolling surface with a light layer of the cheeses. Unfold the puff pastry, and lay it on top of the cheese layer.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the puff pastry out until it is very thin. The bottom layer of cheese will get pressed into the puff pastry. Scatter the spices and rest of the cheeses on top of the puff pastry. Use your fingers to lightly press the cheese and spices into the pastry.
- Carefully fold the pastry in half, then roll it out again to a very large thin rectangle, about 8x12 inches. Use a sharp knife to cut long strips down the short side of the rectangle (so that your straws will be 8 inches or so). Twist each strip to form a spiral, then place them about 1-inch apart on a baking sheet.
- Bake the cheese straws for about 20 minutes until they are puffy and golden. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- These don't store particularly well and are the most crispy and fluffy right after baking. I'd recommend making them the day you'd like to eat them!