Cheese Straws are kind of like a homemade version of Cheese-it® Crackers without the preservatives. Great for snacks but I like to serve them with salads. Perch a stick on the side of a salad plate or pass a basket full with the salad course. Cut them thick or thin or even push the dough through a pastry bag for a frilly appearance. Cheese Straws Cutting straws into ¾ to 1” strips that are about 5 ½ to 6” wide yields about 3 dozen straws 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature 2 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Wax paper Kosher salt for sprinkling 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a food processor, add the butter, cheese, flour, salt and cayenne and process until the dough balls up – be patient as this does not happen instantly. 3. Transfer dough onto a board or marble surface – I like to divide it into 3 balls. 4. Sandwich one of the balls between two sheets of wax paper and press down to flatten. 5. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough in a thin rectangle (as thin as possible; about 5 ½ to 6” wide or whatever size you prefer). (Manipulate the dough with your hands to create a free-form rectangle as you go.) 6. Remove the top piece of wax paper and cut dough with a knife of a decorative pasta cutter – I usually cut strips that range from about ¾ to 1” in width. 7. Transfer strips to parchment lined pan and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt. 8. Bake cheese straws for 15 minutes. Check and add another 5 minutes if not a golden brown (sometimes I flip them before the last 5 minutes of baking to insure even browning). 9. Remove to racks to cool.