These light, crispy cheese straws are a perfect savory snack…and they are bite-sized so you can munch a bunch! I used a sharp cheddar cheese and added a little garlic powder and cayenne pepper. It’s the perfect balance for me, but feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.
Aside from the ingredients, I recommend using parchment paper to line your baking sheet. The cheese straws will just slide right off. (I love parchment paper and use it for all my baking…such easy cleanup!) I also recommend using a disposable decorating bag and star tip (both can be found in the cake decorating aisle of craft stores, Walmart, or anywhere else that sells those supplies. The star tip should be at least a #21 or #22, or you can go larger and use a #32. I used a #21 tip. If you don’t have a love/hate relationship with your cookie press like I do, you can use that instead. (I may or may not have thrown mine out the window…)
**If you don’t have those supplies and don’t want to buy them, just grab a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, fill it with some of your dough, cut a small opening in the end and squeeze it out into small logs. They won’t look as pretty, but will taste the same. I did not test this method so the baking time might vary slightly.**
I made them about 1 to 1-1/2 inches long. You can make them however long you want. If you use butter, they will puff up a little and spread slightly. If you use margarine, they don’t seem to increase in size much. Still, you can pipe them fairly close together and get a lot on your baking sheet.
They don’t take that long to bake, so don’t walk too far away! They are ready in about 7-8 minutes or when they get a little golden brown along the bottom edges.
Here is the recipe for the Bite-Size Cheese Straws
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cheese and the softened butter or margarine with a mixer. It will look like little balls. Add the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Combine (you can use a big spoon at this point). Add 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Combine with mixer a little, then you can use your hands and get it all mixed thoroughly. Your dough should be soft, but not runny, and able to squeeze through a piping bag or cookie press.
Put some of the dough into your piping bag with a star tip (I used a #21). Do not fill too much or you will have a hard time piping the straws. You have to use a little muscle, but you shouldn’t have to break a sweat. :) Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe little straws to fill up your trays.
Bake for 7-8 minutes (or until you see the edges get golden brown) in a 400 degree oven.
Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then serve.
(These would go great with some chili, soup or as a snack all by themselves.)
At the size I demonstrated, this recipe makes about 180 straws…yup, I counted them for you ’cause that’s how I roll.
They are best the day you bake them because they start to lose their crispiness and get soft when stored. (But they still taste good!) I usually store them in an airtight container or a baggie, but maybe I should try a paper bag next time and see if they stay crispy? Hmm… Any suggestions are appreciated!