I made these Cheese Straws using Mark Bittman's recipe because I wanted to have some salty snacks in the afternoon and also use them as substitutes for croutons for our salad. They are pretty easy and tasty but I noticed that the direction and measurement in the book are not very clear - I had to add more water than 'a few drops of ice water' because the dough was not doughy enough and baked them for twice as long. I think next time I make them, I would use Smitten Kitchen's recipe since hers is clearer and easier for me to follow.
1/2 lb cheddar or other flavorful hard cheese
1/3 lb Parmesan cheese
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into chunks
~1/4 cup of ice cold water
coarse salt (optional)
- Heat oven to 450F.
- Grate the cheese in a food processor, then remove from the bowl.
- Add flour and cayenne to the processor and pulse to mix.
- Add butter and process to combine, pulse in the grated cheese.
- Knead the dough by hand until the dough comes together, adding ice water one tablespoon at a time.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, using flour as necessary, and cut into long strips and about 1/4-1/2 inch wide.
- Put on a lightly greased baking sheet or a silicone mat and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.