Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cheese Straws

prebaked cheese straws

By Cookbad

I actually made the entire menu that went along with this, from Jan. 2008 Gourmet magazine, but these were the only part I got around to photographing.

The menu, which you can find here is ridiculously good and terrible for you. The fried chicken involves being fried in bacon fat (GENIUS!) and then is finished off with a bacon gravy and more just plain old bacon. I love a sentence that has bacon in it that many times.

I highly recommend the entire menu.

The cheese straws are wonderful because they take about 10 minutes to make and are very satisfying. If you skip or lower the amount of cayenne pepper kids love them.

They are also fun to make.

Here is the recipe:

1/4 pound 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 teaspoon salt
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 tablespoons 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.

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