These Cheddar Cheese Straws with Cumin are great for parties and Sunday games. I personally love them. I grew up with them and always found them to be the soul of the parties. Made with different kind of cheeses and also different seeds, like poppy, cumin or caraway, these appetizers are great! Very addictive, delicious and also very easy to make!
Cheese straws are one of those classic treats, something that all self-respected hostess should have in the repertoire. The cheese straws are usually served before a meal, though they are delicious with soups, salads, wine or beer.
The basic way to make them is butter, flour and grated cheese. There are recipes that use equal parts of flour, butter and cottage cheese in the dough, which makes them super tender and good. What makes them fun is that you can spice them up with cayenne or chili powder. You can add seeds like caraway(my favorite), sesame or poppy seeds. You can deviate from the standard cheddar and make them with Parmesan, Gruyere or other cheese you like(here is a recipe with Feta cheese). I saw recipes with blue cheese and they were superb!
Cheese straws can come in all kinds of shapes or sizes. I usually roll out the dough and cut stripes out of it with a pizza cutter. Sometimes I cut them in triangles or squares. You will find cheese straws as thick as logs or skinny and crunchy like I sometimes make them.
Perhaps I lead a sheltered life, but I don’t think you should buy cheese straws from the store. These cheese straws are such a quintessentially homemade thing. I tried store bought ones before and they were awful. The ingredients are cheap, horrible and full of preservatives. They were also stale. It made me sad because I wondered how many people had eaten these horrible things thinking that a cheese straw should taste like that.
Making cheese straws at home takes just a little effort. I find that you can whip a batch of cheese straws in under an hour, especially if you don’t start messing with getting the straws in a fancy shape. Baked at 400F/200C for 10-15 minutes, the straws can be ready in no time if you are looking for a snack. You can also make the dough in advance and freeze it for a future use.
Very versatile! These little homemade cheese sticks are also great if you serve them with beer, and a Sunday game is the perfect occasion for them.
What type of appetizers do you make when you entertain?
- 4oz/115g/generous ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 2oz/55g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 oz/55g/1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 large egg beaten
- poppy or cumin seeds for sprinkling
- Sift flour, salt and curry powder into a bowl.
- Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the cheese and half the egg and mix to form a dough.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
- On a floured counter, roll out the dough to ¼ inch or 5 mm thick.
- Then cut a 3x1/2 inch or 7.5x1cm strips, about 24 pieces.
- Place the strips on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Brush each straw with the remaining egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds or cumin seeds.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
- Finally, transfer them to wire racks to cool.