I love finding quick, delicious, impressive snacks to make on a whim. It can be dangerous, sure, to have an arsenal of last minute recipes from which to choose whenever the mood strikes you for a salty or sweet treat. But, you'll never regret having those favorites when you recieve an impromptu invitation to dinner at a friend's abode. I've got quite a few on the 'sweet' side of the list, but the salty side was lacking until I found these spicy cheese straws over at Smitten Kitchen. I've made them twice in the two weeks since seeking out the recipe for an editorial assignment, and have no doubt they'll make an appearance many more times in the coming weeks. I even discovered that the dough makes an excellent cracker, especially when paired with sweet/tart apples and a little bubbly champagne. And maybe a little Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with a girlfriend on a Monday evening. Hey, who said Mondays had to be dreary? These fiery cheese straws/crackers will certainly help to spice things up. Har-de-har.
Cheese Straws or Crackers
from Smitten Kitchen
- 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt, and pepper, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and process until the dough forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to an 8x10 rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch wide strips, or 1-inch crackers. (I used a pizza cutter and a pastry cutter to make easy work of this.) Gently transfer the strips or crackers to an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing 1/4-inch apart. You can twist the straws as I did, if you like.
- Bake the straws/crackers in the middle rack of the oven...about 12 minutes for the straws and 15-18 for the crackers, until they turn golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
- Straws/crackers will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 days. I highly suggest multiplying this recipe for a party, as two people can easily finish these off as a meal. It may have happened at our house...