Herbed Cheese Straws
These cheese straws are crazy-delicious. Think of elongated "Cheetos," kissed by the sharp tang of real cheddar and the heavenly air of Herbes de Provence.
- 1 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Center the oven rack; preheat oven to 400°F. Tip the cheese, butter, flour, salt, herbs, and red pepper flakes into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the machine a few times just to break up the butter. Add the cream, and process until the dough masses on the blade -- 20-30 seconds.
Dump the dough onto a lightly-floured surface, and then roll it into a 10x8-inch rectangle, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Use a floured knife or pastry wheel to cut the dough into 1/4- or 1/3-inch-wide strips.
Arrange the strips 1/4 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the ends of the straws start to color -- 12-15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.
Serve at room temperature. For best flavor and texture, serve the straws on the day you make them.