About this recipe:This is an old recipe of my mother's (circa 1940's) which can be two recipes in one. The ingredients below are for the basic cheese straws but I sometimes double the amount of cheese and make cheese whirls. Where I have put seasoning, this is much to personal tastes. If using salted butter - don't add salt. I usually season with paprika. These cheese straws do rise but they are not like the 'puff pastry' ones you see commercially.
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:15min › Ready in:30min
If using a food processor, put flour, 85g cheese, butter and seasoning in bowl and process until like breadcrumbs. If by hand, place flour, cheese and seasoning in bowl and rub in the butter until fine.
Mix with beaten egg yolk, or milk if egg allergy, till very stiff if making cheese straws. For the cheese whirls it needs to be a little more pliable but not much.
Roll out on a floured surface until thin.
If making cheese straws, cut into narrow strips and place on baking tray.
If making cheese whirls, using a palette knife make sure the pastry is not stuck to the work surface. Cover with remaining cheese and carefully roll the pastry over like a swiss roll. The pastry will break in places but just squash it together and carry on - this is half the fun. Once rolled up, cut the roll into slices and transfer to baking tray cut side down.
If you are using the herbs, sprinkle these on top or for a more luxurious finish top the straws / whirls with a little extra grated cheese.
Cook in a preheated 180 C / Gas 4 oven until a golden brown colour.
Leave on tray to cool for a few minutes before consuming.
Doubled all the ingredients - although I used a large yolk and only needed one - and added smoked paprika with the salt and pepper. Cut the dough out with a round cutter to make these more like 'Ritz' shapes. Got 32 out of the amount. Fabulously cheesy when made with mature cheddar and finely grated Parmesan - 04 Jun 2015