Cheese straws are one of those simple but intimidating recipes. Most people resort to buying some variety off the shelves at the supermarket because “the juice isn’t worth the squeeze” in their minds. However, I am here to combat the notion because these were not only delicious but simple as well- which is why it’s the best cheese straw recipe you’ll find on the internet!
If you know me and my recipes by now, what you use in your recipe is extremely important in recreating the perfect bite. I’m a big proponent of quality ingredients, which is why for these cheese straws I only recommend using Tillamook Sharp Cheddar.
Recently, I took a trip to Tillamook Oregon (read the recap here!) to learn more about the cheddar process from my partners at Tillamook and came away with a bit more knowledge about cheddar than I had anticipated. One such fact is that the longer a block of cheddar ages, the more moisture is drawn out which adds to the sharp flavor. There are also no nationally set standards for the cheddar aging process so when you see “sharp” cheddar on a package at the grocery store, it is set by their own standards of what “sharp” is.
Tillamook defines sharp cheddar as a cheese that has aged for 9 months, and extra sharp is 15 months. Tillamook also ages their cheese in 40-pound blocks versus other retailers who ages in 200-pound blocks. The bigger the block of cheese, the more moisture that’s in the cheese, which means less sharp aged cheese, which equates to less flavorful cheese when you buy it.
So this is the science behind why Tillamook is a superior sharp cheddar and why it’s pertinent that you use it for this cheese straw recipe. When you have sharper less moisture-filled cheese, you get a crispier, sturdier cheese straw. One that won’t spread out while it bakes in the oven. Use this tool here to locate Tillamook near you.
Now let’s get cookin’!
You’ll need these products to recreate this recipe! Make sure to have these on hand before you get started.
*note about buying a cookie press, the one I used in this recipe isn’t available online (I bought it in person at Cooks Warehouse here in Atlanta) (this one is very similar) and from my experience toying around with other cookie presses, there really aren’t any knock-out performers in this cooking gadget category. I’ve heard that the Swedish made Sveico cookie press is going to be your best tool out there. Unfortunately, the company does not produce these cookie presses anymore so you’re going to have to find them through second-hand retailers. Try eBay, hopefully, one will show up!
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar freshly shredded
- 1 stick of cold unsalted butter cubed
Preheat oven to 325°F oven and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Combine1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 -1 1/5 teaspoons cayenne pepper in a food processor
. Pulse until combined.
Add in 8 ounces of shredded Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. Pulse until little balls form.
With the food processor running, add 1 stick of unsalted cubed butter piece by piece until a dough ball forms.
Remove dough ball from food processor and stuff into a cookie press .
On a marble surface, squeeze out the cheese straw dough using the star adapter and cut into 10-inch pieces. Carefully transfer to your aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
Bake in a 325° F oven for 10-15 minutes on the middle rack or until edges are slightly golden brown.