These are fancy enough for parties of any type (and they’re so quick to make you can still make them for NYE if you choose), but they’re also easy to make so they can be for every day. My apologies to anyone watching their waistlines after indulging a little too much this festive season 😉
The secret to keeping these both easy and economical is to use a) frozen puff pastry, which is super-affordable these days, and b) use a restrained amount of a strongly flavoured cheese, like a block of sharp cheddar, a chunk of Manchego, or a sliver of Swiss; essentially, any hard cheese that can hold up to the rigours of a very hot oven. I also sometimes like to use a few herbs or other complementary flavours when I can, but again they will need to be able to handle the heat. My reco is to use something like finely minced fresh rosemary, or a small amount of sage would work if they’re to be paired with a poultry dish. I also would consider sprinkling in some minced chives or even spring onions, both green and white parts.
Festive Cheese Straws
YIELD: 15-20 pieces | PREP: 5 mins | BAKE: 20 mins
This recipe is scalable.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 cup/250g cheese of your choosing, shredded (if using a hard cheese, finely grate with something like a Microplane zester)
- 1 tbsp/15g fresh herbs or spring onions, minced finely
- Kosher sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Lay out fully thawed puff pastry on lightly floured board or parchment paper; sprinkle half the shredded cheese evenly overtop; follow with half of the herbs of choice. Very sparingly sprinkle salt and cracked black pepper over the puff pastry.
- Cover dough with parchment paper; using a rolling pin, gently roll out puff pastry to about 1/8″ thick, embedding the cheese and other toppings into the top layer so they don’t fall off during the rolling and baking process.
- Remove parchment paper and fold the dough in half; repeat with second half of cheese and herbs only. Re-cover with parchment and gently roll out until again 1/8″ thick. Aim for a rectangle shape, 6-8 ” on one side for short straws, or up to 10″ for longer straws.
- With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut cleanly into 1″ vertical strips; twist and place each cheese-embedded pastry strip onto prepared parchment-lined pans. Do not crowd pan or allow overlap of any of the strips. Chill in fridge for 10-30 minutes to let the dough rest before baking.
- While dough is resting, preheat oven to 375; line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes; check frequently for doneness and pull the pans out when they are golden brown. Let cool on pans for a few minutes, until they are strong enough to be removed from the baking pan without bending, then place on cooling rack and start the next batch until you run out of pastry.
- Serve warm or room temperature. These stale out quickly, so be sure to serve them within 24 hours.