Easy cheese straws

Some people might call this cheating. Those people might be right, but I don’t see anything wrong with that from time to time.

Picture this: it’s a balmy summer’s evening, maybe a Friday night. You’re sat in your garden or on your balcony, or maybe the window is wide open allowing you to bask in the last of the day’s sun. You’ve poured your favourite drink, maybe treating yourself to a cocktail, and with a little prep you are soon munching on a warm cheese straw, the flakes of pastry splintering against your lips.

That doesn’t work?

Well, maybe it’s a Sunday lunchtime and you’re preparing a barbeque. What are you munching on while the grill gets hot? Or maybe it’s the middle of winter and you need a savoury something to bring to a New Year’s party – is that bottle of wine going to cut it on its own?

You get the idea. Versatile, simple, quick: make some homemade cheese straws.

Easy cheese straws recipe

Makes about 20

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 320g puff pastry (feel free to get the pre-rolled stuff)
  • 100g gouda
  • 50g parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Generous grinding of black pepper
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Make sure your puff pastry is cold from the fridge and roll out into a rectangle. The pre-rolled stuff is actually a pretty perfect size at about 35 x 23 cm, so feel free to make life even easier for yourself and use that.
  3. Brush the pastry with a little olive oil, before sprinkling the smoked paprika, black pepper and cheese over the entirety of the sheet.
  4. Cover the now cheesed pastry with a sheet of greaseproof paper and use a rolling pin to press the cheese into the pastry. You don’t want to make it much thinner, mind, so just run a rolling pin over once.
  5. Remove the paper and slice the pastry into 1cm wide strips. Twist before placing on a baking tray lined with the same piece of greaseproof paper.
  6. For twisting, which gives the nice almost striped pattern on the cooked cheese straw, it’s easier to twist in opposite directions from both ends with the seasoned side of the cheese straw facing down, so that it ends up on the outside. No matter if you can’t get it though – they’ll still taste great.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden-brown and crisp.

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