Have you ever had a cheese straw?
I didn’t even know what they were until I started doing a little research on 1960s snacks. We were watching The Graduate in one of my classes and I was asked to help make some 1960s themed snack foods for the week.
These cheese straws are more like cheese crackers (think Cheez-It) but are long and skinny.
Cheese straws were a common item found at dinner parties in the 1960s, especially in the South.
They are easy to eat, easy to share, and easy to make a lot of. I can see why they would have been popular!
The cheese straw dough can also be cut into a variety of shapes to compliment what ever type of foods or occasion you are having.
I recommend poking a few holes in your shapes if you choose to go that route, since they puff a bit when they are baked. You could also not and end up with fun puffy crackers.
I imagine anyone that likes the typical cheez-it would like these crackers, even with the added spiciness.
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) softened unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup flour + more for rolling out the dough
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp half and half
To Make the Cheese Straws:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a food processor – I used my favorite choppy device – combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse to combine and form small clusters.
- Once you have reached a dough like consistency add the half and half, then pulse for about 10 seconds or until the dough comes together.
- Dump out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out about a 1/8th inch thick rectangle. Slice the dough into strips and carefully move to the cookie sheet. (To make things easier you can roll out the dough & cut the strips on the parchment paper you want to bake them on preventing much breakage from moving them. You CAN NOT do this with silicone mats.)
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 -15 minutes, or until golden and about to brown. Remove and allow to cool before serving.
Note: my BF mentioned the kitchen smelled weird when these were baking, so if you notice a strange odor coming from your oven it’s probably all the cheese and spiciness in one.