Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cheese Straws or How to impress without needing to do much.

Wiggly mouthfuls of cheesy pastry. I really don't think I need to say much more than that to convince that these are a good plan.

I used to make these a lot as teenager while revising for A-Levels and eating the lot for lunch. Whilst this is clearly not a balanced diet and not to be recommended it does serve to prove just how quick and easy these are to do. Essentially they are cheesy shortcrust pastry made a bit posh looking. I give this a bit of a twist by using self-raising flour which makes them a little flakier and closer to puff pastry but without the hassle.

100g Self-raising butter
200g Flour
100g Parmesan finely grated - clearly the better the cheese the better the final product but don't go crazy they are only nibbles. I used Morrison's basic version this time
Salt and Pepper

1. Rub the flour and butter together until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the seasoning and the Parmesan and keep rubbing everything together till it binds into a pastry. You will need to add a few tablespoons of water to help it come together so add them one at a time till you have a lovely lump of pastry.
3. Cool in the fridge for half an hour.
4. Turn the oven on to 200C. Roll out the pastry and cut into strips. Give the strip a bit of a twist and place on a greased baking tray.
5. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are golden and crisp.

These are very easy to give an extra twist to. Just add mustard, sun dried tomatoes, poppy seeds.......

Try not to eat them all straight out of the oven. This is especially hard to do because they are just too good for words when warm.

It is hard to think of an occasion when these are not suitable. At a party the only issue is that they will invariably be the nibble that everybody heads for so you either have spend the whole party baking in the kitchen or disappoint everybody.

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