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Cheese Sticks, Week 2 of the Letter C

the letter C

This is week two of recipes starting with the letter C.  The recipe for cheese sticks sounded vague. I think if I had followed the directions as written they wouldn’t have come out right.  They needed more rolling and chilling to incorporate the butter into the dough.  I am a fan of southern cheese straws, but that’s not what these cheese sticks are; they are puff pastry, airy and cheesy and perfect for cocktail hour. We devoured them. 

Once I’d done the final roll out of the pastry I cut it in half. The first half, per the recipe I placed on the pan and let them puff. With batch two I twisted them and got a prettier and longer stick. I’ve made these before with store-bought puff pastry, using egg wash and grated Parmesan cheese. This recipe had me incorporate the cheese (cheddar) into the dough, as well as a small amount of paprika which I assume was for color, but had little effect. I also used white cheddar rather than yellow (the recipe didn’t specify).

If you’ve never made puff pastry there are some things that are critical; the butter needs to be COLD; you need to keep chilling the dough, and the oven needs to be HOT. Other than that it’s easy, and not nearly as time-consuming as you might expect.  Are these worth the effort of making them from scratch rather than buying puff pastry dough? I’d say absolutely; store-bought all-butter puff pastry will cost you upwards of $10.00 this recipe calls for a bit less than 1/2 lb of butter, which I stock up on and freeze whenever it’s on sale for around $2.99/lb, but even at $4.99/lb it’s worth it. I will definitely make these again.

Cheddar Cheese Twists

Cheddar Cheese Twists
Serves 12
Prep time 2 hours
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Freezable, Gourmet, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (plus extra for rolling pastry)
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (sweet, smoked or spicy, your preference)
  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter (cold)
  • 6oz sharp cheddar (shredded)
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Note

Makes about 4 dozen sticks

Directions

Step 1
Sift dry ingredients together
Step 2
In a food processor or stand mixer cut 8 TBL of butter into small cubes and cut into the flour. Add shredded cheese. Slowly add water until ingredients form a ball.
Step 3
On a well-floured board or counter, roll dough into an 11" square, dot with 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces.
Fold four corners of dough into the center.
Fold dough in half vertically, then horizontally.
Step 4
Keeping counterwell-floured roll dough into another 11" square, and fold again. Wrap in wax paper or plastic and chill for 30 minutes
Step 5
Remove dough from refrigerator, roll into an 11" square, and dot with remaining 2 TBL of (cold) butter, and repeat step 4.
Heat oven to 400F (375 for convection). Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into a rectangle 1/4" thick. Cut into 1/2" X 4" strips.
Step 6
For flat sticks lay take strips and lay them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.
Step 7
For cheese twists, hold strips and twist each end in the opposite direction to form a twist.
Lay twists on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.

 

 

 

 

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