Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Garlic Cheddar Cheese Straws

So we've been picnic-ing a lot lately. I mean a lot! St. Louis has a full schedule of free concerts at parks throughout the summer and we've been taking full advantage. Let me tell you,there are some hardcore picnic-ers at these events -- think full catered spreads, stemless wine glasses and this table everywhere. After our first outing, I figured I'd get in on this!

Picnic foods can be a little bit tricky -- they need to be portable, they need to stand up to hot/humid weather, they need to be easy to eat (often without utensils) and they need to be made ahead of time. For my first big picnic affair with friends, I decided to start simple and keep it classic with garlic cheddar cheese straws.

The soft crunch of these guys keeps you coming back for more and these were real crowdpleasers amongst our friends. I opted for garlic cheddar this time, but the possibilities are endless. I'd love to do "everything bagel" style or something with loads of fresh herbs.

*Thank your Husband for breaking them in half to pack them. Remind yourself to buy a longer plastic container for such things. 

Puff pastry makes for a quick preparation. I try to keep a box in the freezer for unexpected occasions when I need a quick appetizer.


Just a bit of light rolling out for this recipe, but the dimensions don't need to be exact.

A quick brush of beaten egg serves as the "glue" for your cheese and seasonings.

Use the tip of a sharp knife to slice 1/2 inch strips and then carefully twist. Some cheese is going to fall out... it's just going to happen. You're going to be alright.

Bake for just a few minutes until golden and the cheese is melt-y.

Garlic Cheddar Cheese Straws
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (but still cold)
Flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
1 cup aged white cheddar, shredded
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, lightly roll out puff pastry until it measures approximately 10x12 inches. Brush surface of pasty with beaten egg and sprinkle on garlic powder, salt, pepper and cheese. Gently press cheese into pastry.

Gently cut dough into strips and twist, taking care to keep cheese on dough. Place twists onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Cool straws completely before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker and Shutterbean

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