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Cheese Straws
Cheese Straws
crisp cheesy party snacks

  This is a time-honoured recipe from one of those ancient cookery books. I made the pastry using wheat flour, but I see no reason why gluten-free couldn't be substituted. As for weight-watchers, the fat and carbs may not be ideal, but these finger-snacks are far healthier than the shop-bought variety, and they won't leave your fingers coated in grease. Can be stored in a container for a day or two, but need crisping up in a low oven for a few minutes before serving.

100g plain flour
50g butter
50g grated mature Cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk
Cayenne pepper
cold water to mix

Put the flour in a suitable bowl and just add a shake of salt and a pinch of Cayenne. Don't overdo it with either of the seasonings. Too much pepper will make the straws hot and spicy; and mature cheese tends to be quite salty already. Mix these dry ingredients together, then rub in the butter to form a fine breadcrumb consistency. Now pop in the grated cheese and combine well. Next, drop the egg yolk in the centre of the dry ingredients. Start mixing this in with a little water at first, adding more as necessary; but do it a bit at a time. What you are after is relatively stiff dough that is not sticky, but will hold together and not break up when rolled. Before beginning the rolling, have a couple of baking sheets ready with baking paper to cover.

Roll the dough out thinly on a floured board, trying to keep it rectangular to end up with a flat pastry about 18 cm (7 inch) wide and quite long. Cut 6.5 cm (2½ inch) bands across the width. Take one of the baking papers from the tray and lay it on a flat surface alongside the pastry. Lift each band of pastry in turn onto the paper and, with a knife that isn't sharp, cut across the width into 5 cm (¼ inch) strips. As they are cut, slide them so that they are side-by-side, but separated slightly. Once the paper is full, carefully slide this onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes on 180°C fan-forced (200°C conventional) until pale golden in colour. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes loads

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print recipe.

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