Crispy Cheese Straws

The excitement of Christmas faded fast around here as hubby returned to work, Bradley returned to wrestling and MacKenzie Grace started winter color guard camp the 26th.  Most years the end of the Christmas season leaves me feeling a little sad, but this year I was kind of glad to see it go.  Two days after the whirlwind of Christmas celebrations that spanned three states in three days,  our decorations are down, packed and ready for storage.
No, I am not being a Scrooge, I am just tired.  Christmas was so much more this year with the wedding and catering and parties and wrestling….
 I am just so ready for a little down time and the New Year!
And, I plan on enjoying my New Year celebration as we are trying to pull together a little soiree to bring in 2013, or maybe hosting a few people to watch football all day on January 1st; I haven’t decided which I want to do yet.
Who knows, maybe we’ll do both.
As I was thinking of food to serve I kept coming up with appetizers for New Years Day.  One of our favorites is Cheese Straws.  I know, not the elaborate dish most would expect for the last “Foodie Friday” of the year, but my brain is really tired.
Crispy, spicy, loaded with cheese, & definitely not on my “foods to eat” list, these are a favorite among my entire family for winter snacking.
Ingredients:
8 ounces extra sharp grated cheddar cheese
12 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
1 3/4 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon (depending on your taste) cayenne pepper 
Assemble & Cook:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Blend together the cheese, butter, egg and Texas Pete, then set aside.
Sift the flour, paprika,salt and cayenne pepper together.  Gradually mix the flour mixture into the cheese mixture.  I used the dough paddle on my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, but you can also knead it like you would bread dough.  Make sure it is well combined.
Pack dough into a cookie press based on the instructions for your press.  Use the star shaped disk in the base. 
 Holding the cookie press at an angle, press the handle a couple of times, dragging the press away to make the cheese straw.  A good size is about three inches, but I like the look of the longer straws.  Space about an inch a part on a cookie sheet.
Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown.  Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before storing.
These are delicious on their own, or served on a buffet with a vegetable or cheese platter.
Linking up with Foodie Friday this week.
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4 thoughts on “Crispy Cheese Straws

  1. Oh they do look great and I do have a cookie press, which I have yet to use.

    Jen, I think you need a spa day with a friend. Yes, I do. And you need to rest and just be for a while. An entire day in jammies can work wonders for the spirit reading what you like and watching some shows and napping. All good. Hugs to you…

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