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Monday, December 9, 2013

What's Cookin' (Baking) in the Country?

It's pretty much a given that with it being a couple weeks into December, most kitchens are busy baking for the holiday.  Mine is certainly no different, and it's such fun!  Our Christmas Tea at church is tonight, so this weekend I got busy making a couple of things to take to the tea.  We'd asked the ladies to bring an appetizer or dessert.  I couldn't wait to make these yummy little treasures...

Spicy Cheese Straws

Seriously, these are like homemade Cheese Nip Crackers bumped up to a whole new level!  They could be dangerous!  Crispy, buttery, cheesy.  They are a perfect appetizer! Making them in the food processor makes them ridiculously fast and simple!

Spicy Cheese Straws
You could cut them with a cookie cutter and make them into rounds, if you'd like.
I chose to go the with the straws.
Roll out the dough into 12x8 rectangle.  
I keep a ruler in the kitchen just for baking, for tasks like this.
I use a pizza cutter to cut the strips.  They don't have to be perfectly the same size; just eyeball it.


1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (I chicken out and only used 1/4 tsp)
2 tablespoons half-and-half


Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.
Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chilled up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare dough, and turn out onto a well-floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pastry wheel, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place strips on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are well browned; cool on baking sheets on wire racks 30 minutes. Makes: about 3 dozen.

These are kind of a southern staple, but as far as I'm concerned, no one would go wrong serving these anywhere, at any time to any one for any reason!!!!

Say cheese!

From my country kitchen,


Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort said...

You're right, those are SO southern! Our very (classy) southern Realtor brought some of those to us for Christmas last year. I'll have to try these. =)

Denise said...

I have plenty of cheese if you need some... =)