Cheddar & Herb Cheese Straws

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Crisp and flaky cheese straws specked with fresh herbs make a delicious and fun hors d’oeuvre.

cheese straws

These crisp and flaky cheese straws specked with fresh herbs and crushed red chili flakes make a wonderful hors d’oeuvre to go along with wine and cocktails, and they’re also delicious with a bowl of tomato or vegetable soup. Though they look like bread sticks, they’re actually more akin to savory pie crust or pastry. I find them wildly addictive, and just plain fun to serve. (Thanks to my dear friend Kelly Santoro for the recipe!)

What you’ll need to make Cheese straws

ingredients

As you can see, the ingredients are very basic. No need to spend a lot on the cheese; here, I’ve used a brand from Whole Foods but I’ve also had excellent results with Cabot, which is widely available in most grocery stores. For the herbs, I like a combination of rosemary and thyme but you can use anything you like — or even omit them.

How to make Cheese straws

herbs

Begin by combining the grated cheese, flour, salt, red chili flakes and herbs in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

flour-cheese-and-herbs

Process until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

coarse-crumbs

Add the cold butter and process until the mixture is crumbly with pea-size bits of butter within.

adding-butter

Add the cream.

adding-cream

And pulse until the dough clumps together in a mass.

wet-dough

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and dust the dough with flour.

wet-dough-on-counter

Knead the dough until it comes together and shape into a rectangle about an inch high; then, cut in half.

ready-to-rest

Roll each block of dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle.

rolled-dough

Trim the edges, then use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Try to be fairly accurate: if they are too thick, they won’t crisp up; if they are too thin, they’ll break.

cutting-dough

Transfer the dough strips to a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about a 1/4-inch between them.

ready-to-bake

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a rich golden color on the bottom (see below — the first three cheese straws are flipped over).

done

Let cool on a rack, then transfer to a plate to serve.

baked-cheese-straws

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Southern Cheddar & Herb Cheese Straws

Crisp and flaky cheese straws specked with fresh herbs make a delicious and fun hors d’oeuvre.

Servings: About 55 Cheese Straws

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (2 packed cups) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Scant teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ tablespoons roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary and/or thyme
  • 1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set two oven racks in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheese, flour, salt, red pepper flakes and herbs. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Cut the butter into ½-inch chunks and add to the flour/cheese mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some pea-size clumps of butter within. Add the heavy cream and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together into a mass.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour and use your hands to shape into a rectangle about 1-inch high. Cut the rectangle in half.
  5. Dust the work surface with more flour and roll each block of dough into a 8 x 10-inch rectangle about ⅛-inch thick (turn the dough as you go and add more flour as necessary so it doesn't stick). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim the edges straight without sacrificing too much dough, then cut the dough into thin strips about ¼-inch wide. Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about a ¼-inch of space between them. Bake the straws for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a rich golden color on the bottom, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through. Remove from the pans from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Carefully transfer the cheese straws to a plate and serve.
  6. Note: The cheese straws will keep well in a covered container for a few days.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Shape the dough into 2 rectangles, about 1 inch thick, wrap each securely in plastic wrap, and place them in a sealable bag. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the freezer, thaw it until pliable, and then proceed with recipe. To Freeze After Baking: Let the cheese straws cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cheese straw
  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 69mg
  • Cholesterol: 11mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I have looked at this recipe for a while now, and finally got around to making it. These straws are wonderful! Kind of like crispy breadsticks, but with a more interesting flavor. I am planning a mid-summer get together for some people that helped us in the process of getting into a new home (after some renovations are concluded) and am looking for light finger food to go with beer and wine. I like your spiced nuts, and might adapt some aspects of your feta dip for a baked feta with some olives and tomatoes. We all love your little ham & cheese mini sandwiches. Have you ever considered a cocktail menu? We’re not fancy people, just looking for some flavorful, seasonal foods that are easy to pick up and eat.

    • — PaulainVA on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked these! I haven’t considered developing a cocktail menu but I will definitely keep it in mind. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made these as gifts for co workers. They were a hit! I shared the website and emailed them recipes. Thank you Jenn! Was nice to do something that wasn’t sweet! I loved them!

    • — Cheryl on December 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • I like the addition of fresh herbs. Also, I inherited a Mirror cookie press; it works great for cheese straws if you use the star disc. This is a great recipe!

    • — Jeanne O Harris on December 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • Is it 1 stick or half a cup of butter? 8 tablespoons = 1/4 cup=1 stick in every brand of butter I’ve seen.

    • — Doug on December 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Doug, 1 stick is actually the equivalent of 1/2 cup of butter. See this chart for more information. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made these today for Thanksgiving appetiser. They weren’t as pretty as yours, Jennifer, but oh so wonderfully tasty. I will make them again and again

    • — Marilyn on November 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these up, and then froze one of the halves and baked the other half. I am wondering if I thaw it as recommended, but then am unable to make it that same day, would it be OK thawed and put into the refrigerator to bake the next day or even the day after?

    • — Jane on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jane, that’s fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • these were SOOO good! so many compliments!

    • — miriam on May 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • These look and sound great! Could I make them a couple days before a party and kept in an airtight container?
    Thanks!

    • — Suzanne on March 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, they keep nicely for a few days. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • These were amazing. So light and such wonderful flavor. I can’t wait to try different herbs and different cheese. Thanks for such an easy and flavorful recipe.

    • — Marie R on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are delicious! I love them with thyme, but you can use any fresh herb you like. I have also made them with pepper jack cheese to give it some zing. Fun appetiser, but also good to serve with homemade soup.

    • — Kathy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, Happy New Year. I so wanted these to turn out. What did I do wrong? The dough was so dry – I even added more cream to try to get it to come together. If I had worked it more with my hands would the dough have softened and come together? I ended up throwing it all away and then the dreaded cleaning of the food processor 😜. I will try again because of the glowing reviews and they look so good.

    • — Lori on January 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori, I’m sorry you had a problem with the dough! Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

      • — Jenn on January 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’ve only used half the salt and baked it for christmas presents! It was a huge success and everyone loved it and wants the recipe. Thank you very much!

    • — Kotie on January 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Question

    Hi Jenn:

    do you think these would bake off ok being made into different shapes?
    I do not have a pizza cutter, and I’m not sure how uniform I can cut these into straws so I thought about using a cookie cutter ( I’m taking these to a party tonight along w/ the maple bacon & would like the platter to look nice).

    Thanks !

    Giving 5 Star because it sounds so good & your recipes consistently come out nicely!

    • — Lisa on December 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lisa – any shape will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you for always responding so quickly!!!

        I really appreciate it!

        Lisa

        • — Lisa on December 19, 2020
        • Reply
  • Do you think these could be made with almond flour? Your recipes are my go-to. Thank you!

    • — Lyssa on November 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • I do think it’d work, Lyssa. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, can I use smoked cheddar instead of sharp cheddar?

  • Hello – Can you make these with gruyere instead of cheddar? – Thanks!

    • Sure – enjoy!

    • These straws are amazing. I used chives for the herbs because I had some growing outside. LOVE these. Such a great recipe that you can change up with different herbs, spices and cheeses. Thank you!

      • — Sarah K on October 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • I think I over processed my dough. The dough is more like a brownie batter. Do I start over, or can I fix it? I have made them before without a problem, they are fabulous.
    Laura

    • Hi Laura, Is it liquid like brownie batter? If so, I’d try refrigerating it to see if it firms up. I think it’s worth trying to save!

      • Genius! It totally worked refrigerating. Thank you.

        • — Laura Spangler
        • Reply

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