This traditional Southern pastry is cheesy and spicy. Yum!
Cheese Straws (from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock)
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper.
Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out ¼ inch thick, and cut into strips ¼ inch wide and 4 to 6 inches in length. Place the strips on ungreased cookie sheets ½ inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
Cool completely, and store in airtight containers. “Cheese straws improve as the flavors mellow, so make them a day before serving, if possible,” state the cookbook authors.