RECIPE FROM "SANDY'S
(From Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking Wings Book)
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, or blue cheese
1 3/4 cups flour
salt, to taste
1/2 cayenne pepper, more or less
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Put the butter and cheese in the container of a food processor. Add the flour, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Cover and blend thoroughly. If a food processor is not used, put the flour, salt and cayenne in a bowl. Add the butter, cheese, and Worcestershire, and using two knives or a pastry blender, blend thoroughly.
Use a cookie press outfitted with a houndstooth or star dispenser. Push the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet to make individual straws. Or, if desired, roll the dough out to a 1/8-inch thickness and cut it into individual strips, which can be twisted if desired, or other shapes. Arrange the pieces on 1 or 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Place the baking sheet or sheets in the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the straws are crisp and lightly browned. If you wish a darker color let them cook longer. Remove and let cool.
Makes about 6 dozen.
Author's Notes: Since my earliest childhood, I have had what amounts to a passion for cheese straws, particularly those with a tangy bite that comes not from the cheese but from a touch or more of cayenne. The source of the recipe given here for those straws is Charlie Swayze, Sr., a family friend of many years from Greenwood, Mississippi. Printer-Friendly Copy of this Recipe