These easy cheese straws, made with sharp cheddar cheese, and with a spicy kick are the perfect salty snack for your next holiday, New Year’s Eve, or really ANY, party. They are super quick and simple to make, and you can bake them a couple of days ahead of when you need them. I wouldn’t make them too far ahead though, because you may find that they’ve disappeared long before the party ;).
I’m of the opinion that no cocktail party or friendly gathering of any kind where alcohol is served is complete without a salty snack. Something you can grab quickly and pop into your mouth between sentences, without breaking the flow of conversation.
I mean, something that won’t dribble down your chin, or force you to make awkward faces as you try to suck the remnants from between your teeth. Something that doesn’t require a napkin, or any assembly whatsoever. You get the idea.
I should tell you that these easy cheese straws are definitely quickest to make in a food processor, but you could mix the ingredients by hand too. I haven’t tried this myself, but if you do, you may mind find that the dough requires a bit of kneading to come together, since the grated cheese makes it kind of crumbly.
You could experiment with different hard gratable cheeses. Gruyère, Monterey Jack or asiago would be good options, for instance. I personally love a nice sharp cheddar. Definitely adjust the amount of crushed red pepper to suit your spice tolerance. I find this amount gives just the right dose of kick for my taste.
I see no reason why you couldn’t cut them into different cracker shapes too, if you’re not into straws. I used a pizza wheel to cut the dough quickly, but this fun little tool is handy for this, and for cutting crackers with scalloped edges. Obviously you could use a knife for a straight edge as well.
These easy cheddar cheese straws bake up puffy, flaky and buttery. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more make-ahead holiday entertaining ideas!