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If you're ever at a loss of what to make for a cocktail party, cheese straws are the answer. They are the perfect companion for cocktails like the French 75 Cocktail, the Last Word Cocktail or simply Champagne - buttery rich and salty to balance the bubbly or sweet and boozy. And they fit right in with a spread of party food like crispy Baked Buffalo Wings, Baked Coconut Shrimp, a few select Crostini Recipes and something sweet like homemade Chouquettes!
You may remember the Quick Whole Wheat Puff Pastry that I posted awhile ago (delicious on Chicken Pot Pie and Turkey Pot Pie!). This is a riff on that recipe, using the same jelly roll technique to simplify the process.
Twisting the dough strips is surprisingly easy, but I found that pressing each end against the parchment paper effective against their inclination to unravel.
Feel free to swap in whole grain flour for all or part of the AP flour - I imagine they would be just as delicious.
Flaky Parmesan Cheese Straws
- 16 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ½-inch chunks
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Grana Padano or other good Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup ice water
- Freeze the butter chunks for about 10 minutes before making the dough.
- Place flour and kosher salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add about ½ of the butter and ¼ cup of the cheese to the flour and pulse until the butter is in small crumbs. Add remaining butter and cheese; pulse 3 or 4 times, leaving visible chunks of butter. Add ice water and pulse until dough begins to clump – don’t over-process or your pastry will be tough.
- Turn the lumpy, uneven dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape dough into a rectangle. Use a board scraper or your hands to create relatively square edges. Lightly flour a rolling pin and the top of dough rectangle. Roll back and forth to create a 12-inch by 16-inch rectangle.
- Fold one edge of the 12-inch side to the center of the rectangle and repeat with the opposite edge, leaving a 4-inch by 16-inch rectangle. Use your hands and dough scraper to roll dough up like a jelly roll. Roll ‘jelly roll’ out into a 4-inch by 16-inch rectangle. Roll it up again; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll dough out on work surface into a ⅛-inch thick rectangle. Cut rectangle crosswise into ½" wide strips.
- Transfer one strip to prepared baking sheet. Holding each end, carefully twist each end in opposite directions to create a spiral. Repeat with remaining strips on the two prepared sheets. leaving about an inch between each strip.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. (Refrigerate the other sheet until ready to bake.)
- Carefully transfer parchment paper and straws to cooling rack and allow to cool.
- Serve at room temperature.