I’ve eaten cheese straws every year around the holidays for as long as I can remember. For nearly the last two decades, I’ve made them for our family Thanksgiving gathering. By now, they’re expected. I always joke that I’ll be kicked out of the family if I don’t bring them. 🙂
I use Mama’s recipe as a base, but I’ve increased the cayenne pepper for a little more bite.
2 sticks butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
*1 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 c. flour
Cream together butter and spices until well blended; add cheese and mix well. Add flour, mixing well until the dough can easily be formed into a large ball. (You may need to use your hands for the later part of this, as the dough gets stiff to work with.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a cookie press canister with dough. Using a star tip, form lines of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then cut into 3-inch lengths and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
The dough can be made in advance, then refrigerated until ready to use (within 24 hours), but let it warm up some before working with it if you’ve used real butter. It will be hard after refrigeration! Another option would be to squeeze the dough with your hands to soften it.
*I typically put in a slightly heaping teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which gives it quite a nice after-burn in the back of the throat. If you prefer a milder taste, only use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.