This week I am posting recipes for the holidays!
A distant DNA cousin, Susan Gilliamsen, sent me this recipe for her mother’s cheese “straws”, but they are actually VERY yummy cheese wafers! Susan says:
Christmas wasn't Christmas without Cheese Straws when I was growing up in the south. It was my adopted mother, Pam, who instilled the tradition. Her recipe is basically the classic southern version.Susan says: The pic is of me at 6, Christmas morning 1966. Probably the first year I got to help with this recipe. I love the “Elf on the Shelf” sitting on the tree!
What I found interesting about this recipe is that I had never heard of sprinkling sugar on cheese straws. I am here to tell you that it is really good.I used Susan altered version of rolling the dough into logs before chilling.
3/4lb. of butter (3 sticks, cubed)
1lb. of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
pecan halves and sugar for topping
Sift flour into a large bowl and blend with salt and cayenne. Blend cut up butter and shredded cheddar with flour mixture until dough is smooth and color is uniform. (Susan says: My mother did this by hand, exhausting! I use a stand mixer.)
Chill dough for several hours to overnight. When chilled, preheat oven to 325 & roll dough to approx 1/8" - 1/4" thickness, slice into small rectangles (like a wide half strip of bacon), scratch tops of slices with a fork to rough up surface. Arrange on baking sheet lined with parchment about 1/2" apart. Set a pecan half on top of each slice if you like (Susan says: is traditional, but I prefer mine without the pecans). Bake 10-15 min, until lightly browned (Susan says: the thinner your slices the shorter the bake time of course, watch these, they'll burn on you in a heartbeat!). Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar as soon as they come out of the oven, while still hot, then remove to a cooling rack.
Notes from Susan: I, out of laziness mostly, have altered the rolling out process a bit (a lot!). I roll the dough into "logs" before chilling. Once chilled I take out the log(s) and slice into "coins", rough up the "coin" surface with a fork, skip the pecans and keep the sugar sprinkling. The size of your "log" will determine the width of your coin of course.
I still have some in the fridge to make! They really are so very good!