Cheese Straws (Think Spice… …Think Paprika)
Posted by bakinghistory on October 27, 2008
Crunchy savory biscuits flavored with cheese and paprika
My entry is a recipe that seems to have been around for quite a long time and is still very popular—and deservedly so. Cheese Straws are crunchy savoury biscuits that are made with a good amount of cheese, butter, and some nice spice like, as in this version, paprika. Despite their plain looks they are very tasty and hard to stop eating. Paprika pairs well with a good cheese, providing a pleasant warmth that complements the richness of the other ingredients.
I have used a very good, extra-sharp Vermont Cheddar and Hungarian sweet paprika, but Parmesan and hot paprika would work as well, as would also a 50-50 mixture of each. The only important thing is to bake the biscuits well, so that they are dry and crunchy.
From the original recipe by Janet McKenzie Hill
In: Practical Cooking and Serving, 1902—USA
1 cup (125 g) AP flour
1/2 tsp paprika (Hot or sweet, or a mix of the two)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup (75 g) butter, cold
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 1 cup (50 to 100 g) grated cheese (Sharp Cheddar or Parmesan or a mix of the two)
1-2 tbsp ice water (or as needed)
Place the flour, salt, paprika, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to mix everything together. Add the grated cheese and pulse again. Then add the butter, diced, and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1 tbsp water and pulse again, add more water as needed with the machine running until the dough just holds together. Do not overprocess.
Shape the biscuits with a pastry bag or by hand forming small balls and then flattening them with a fork.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 10 minutes, until golden. Lower the temperature to 300°F and bake a little longer, until the cookies are dry and crunchy. Cool on racks and store airtight.