The Lee Brothers’ Cheese Straws

Photo by Andrew Cebulka

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30 straws

  • 1½ cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened and cut into 4 pieces
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • Our own take on a Southern classic. Ours is ultra-slender and spicy.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, combine cheese, butter, flour, salt, and red pepper and process in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8-×- 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into long, thin strips, 1/4 to 1/3 inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving at least ¼ inch between them. The dough will sag and may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned—just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.
  4. Bake the straws on the middle rack until the ends are barely browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.
  5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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