I don’t usually keep many snack foods around the house. Mostly because I try not to eat too much processed food but also because they’re pricey. When I’m grocery shopping I never have enough money in my food budget for the ingredients I need for meals AND bags of chips and cookies. However, just because I don’t often buy snack food doesn’t mean I don’t often want snacks. A good compromise I’ve reached is making my own. That way I still get to have greasy, fatty, oh-so-delicious snacks, but the extra work of preparing it myself keeps me from constantly grazing on junk food.
One night recently, my sweetie and I were staying in to watch a movie and we wanted a salty treat to go along with the film. After a few minutes of flipping through our copy of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman I came across his recipe for Simplest Cheese Straws and few a variations later I came up with my own version of Spicy Cheese Straws. This recipe make 8 servings and they keep well in a sealed container for a few days.
Spicy Cheese Straws:
- One pound of grated cheese. I used a 50-50 combination of cheddar and jalapeno jack but you can really use any hard cheese.
- 2 cups of flour.
- 8 tablespoons of butter.
- A few drops ice water
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
- 1/2 teaspoon italian spices.
- Salt for sprinkling.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Grate the cheese.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour with the cayenne, italian spices, and red pepper flakes.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
- Stir in the cheese and knead it by hand until it comes together. Add a few drops of water at the time to help bring the clumps together but don’t add more than one tablespoon of water.
- Roll the dough out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Then cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.
- Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.