Gourmet | January 2008
Don’t let the delicate look of these hors d’oeuvres fool you. A touch of cayenne gives them a hint of heat that makes them a tasty accompaniment to a pre-dinner cocktail—or even a cold beer.
Yield: Makes about 2 dozen hors d’oeuvres
Active Time: 20 min
Total Time: 1 hr (includes cooling)
1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
Pulse cheese, flour, butter, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and pulse until dough forms a ball.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick). Cut dough with a lightly floured pizza wheel or lightly floured sharp knife into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Carefully transfer to 2 ungreased baking sheets, arranging strips 1/4 inch apart. (If strips tear, pinch back together.)
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.
Cheese straws can be made 2 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.