Monday, November 12, 2012

Pink Julep in the Kitchen: Cheese Straws Recipe

The weather is cooler and the leaves are falling more and more each day. As sure as Christmas comes on December 25th, every year without fail my desire to cook and bake comes back in the Fall and this year is no different. I've been cooking and baking up a storm! Since our trip to Paris last month, Mr. Julep has taken a more in-depth interest in food and to my surprise, came home with a new baking book on Saturday. We spent Saturday night making a Key Lime Pie and Sunday night making Cheese Straws. Both turned out to be well worth the effort!

I first had cheese straws last year at a bakery in London and fell in love. This recipe turned out a little more crisp than the ones I'd had before - they're a bit more like a hard breadstick, but they are delicious! I'd recommend serving them alongside a salad, with soup or maybe a dip at a party. They don't take long to make or much effort, but the result is rewarding!

Cheese Straws Recipe (yields about 18 cheese straws)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour and extra for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling
Method:
  • Sift the flour, salt and curry powder into a bowl - if you don't have a sifter, just stir with a fork or wire whisk for the same effect. 
  • Add the butter and use a pastry blender (pictured below) to blend the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. This doesn't take too long, but requires a bit of patience.

  • Add the cheese and 1/2 of the beaten egg and work with your hands to mix it together until it creates a dough. Roll it into a round ball shape, wrap the dough in cling film and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Prepared dough ready for chilling
  • While the dough is chilling, use the extra butter to lightly grease 2 or 3 baking sheets and prepare a floured work surface where you can roll out the dough once it's ready. Also, flour the rolling pin so it won't stick to the dough.
  • Preheat the over to 200 degrees Celcius or 400 degrees Farenheit.
  • When the dough is chilled, roll it out until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut strips about 7.5cm long by 1cm wide. Pinch the strips on each end and place on the baking sheet.
Rolling out the dough
  • Once all the straws are cut and placed on the baking sheet, brush them with the remaining beaten egg using a pastry brush (pictured below). If you don't have a pastry brush, just use your fingers, but be sure to wash your hands before and after.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds over the straws and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Have you made any fun new recipes recently or are there any recipes you'd like to see on Pink Julep? If so, get in touch! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to ashley@pinkjulepabroad.com!

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