Makes 2½ to 3 dozen
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon smoked or plain sea salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground dried peppers*
½ pound grated sharp cheddar cheese,
½ cup butter,
Several dashes of hot sauce
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, paprika, and ground peppers. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cheese, butter, and hot sauce until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture just until dough holds together and ingredients are fully combined. The mixture will initially be grainy, but will eventually come together.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Leave dough to rest while the oven heats. In batches, transfer dough to a cookie press fitted with the star disk. Press dough out in 4-inch pieces onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been pressed into straws.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until straws are lightly browned. Remove pan from oven and cool straws on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool for 20 minutes before serving. Store any uneaten cheese straws in a lidded airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
*Use store-bought or make your own by thoroughly washing and drying unblemished hot peppers, discarding the stems, and leaving them on a cooling rack over a baking sheet in a warm, dry area for several weeks. Discard any peppers that show signs of spoiling and transfer peppers to a lidded container when they become dry and brittle.
- Recipe adapted from Southern From Scratch by Ashley English (Roost Books, 2018)