{Recipe: Applewood Smoked Cheddar Cheese Straws}

Hello C&G readers,

I know I have been neglecting the blog lately. I haven’t been posted anything in a while for various reasons, one of them being that I felt like I needed to take a break from the blog and instead do other things I enjoy. 

This little break and the anticipation of baking for the holidays has renewed my cooking mojo and hopefully I’ll be posting more regularly at least till the end of the year.

I often post sweet recipes, so I thought I’d change it up a bit and share a delicious savoury appetizer or snack that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Spicy applewood smoked cheddar cheese straws.

These are super easy to make since your food processor does most of the work..

The best part of making them is cutting them with pastry wheel :)

You know they’re ready when they are nicely puffed up like this and the edges are slightly golden..

I personally love the flavour of this particular cheese, but you could sub in your favourite semi hard cheese: blue, aged gouda, etc..You could add in some chopped herbs too if you fancy..

Let them cool about 10 minutes on a wire rack and they’re ready to serve. The combination of peperoncino peppers and fresh cracked black pepper give these cheesy crackers a nice spicy kick.

Applewood Smoked Cheddar Cheese Straws (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated applewood smoked cheddar (or your fave semi hard cheese)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
  • 3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed peperoncino peppers (or sub red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt, pepper and peperoncino in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cream and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a pastry wheel or sharp knife cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4- to 1/3-inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet (though I lined mine with parchment), leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days.

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A reminder to my local readers, I will donating some holiday treats to the annual Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale again this year. Make sure to check it out as the proceeds benefit Calgary Meals on Wheels. Delicious treats for a good cause! 

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