OK, I’m back with my annual cookie swap! Can you feel the excitement today? I’m sharing my favorite Southern delicacy that is the only savory cookie I’m doing in this year’s cookie swap. Southern Cheese Straws make the perfect snack with holiday drinks, holiday gifts for friends or a salty snack for a night in.
If you missed any cookie swap recipes or my baking secrets in this year’s cookie exchange, don’t forget that I have everything collected for you on the blog. If you want me to email you the cookie recipes each day, sign up here and join me in the kitchen.
The cookie swap has already been so much fun and I have so many more yummy cookie recipes planned. Like today’s recipe: Southern Cheese Straws
Some people say the cheese straw is a British origin, but I put my life on these being 100% Southern. Cheese straws, or biscuits as some call them, are all the rave below the Mason Dixon line.
We mostly serve the straws with cocktails. (Who needs cocktail nuts when you have cheese straws?!) They are a fantastic accompaniment to soup and salad, too. They are a staple at Southern gatherings including baby showers, weddings, funerals and church potlucks.
Cheese straws come in dozens of shapes, rolled thin, sliced into biscuits, short, long, straight to twisted, but I imagine cheese straws are long and thin, like a straw. The shape is like pasta…the same ingredients as pasta, but the shape does something to the taste and it is personal preference.
Cheese straw pro tip for ya’ll: I pipe cheese straws to get my preferred rough straw shape.
All About Southern Cheese Straws
The cheese straw dough is basic, flour, grated cheese, salt and baking powder and whatever spice you prefer. My cheese straw recipe has a mix of red and cayenne pepper to give the straws a kick. Some people add dry mustard or even add some jalapeño for even move kick. However, I am a pepper purist.
Countless companies make cheese straws you can buy in a tin, but let’s be honest: the very best cheese straws are homemade.
The only straws that come close to mine are those at the bar at The Olde Pink House Restaurant. They make these crunchy long this straws that are the perfect accompaniment to a chilled Chardonnay or dirty martini. To die for!
This Southern cocktail party staple comes in all shapes and sizes here in Savannah and I would imagine all over the South. Some cheese “straws” are baked in circles, others are thick tubes, some spicy and some with a hint of sweet. I like straws with a little kick, but feel free to omit the hot pepper or add a little more to level up the spice!
Baking pro tip: When I make cheese straw slices, I add some chopped pecans. Make sure you toast your pecans and then chop them very, very fine. Hmmmm…thinking my next cheese straw batch will be slices, so I can add pecans.
No matter how you make this recipe your own, cheese straws are perfect for a cookie swap, because it’s familiar, but unexpected. It is rare that anyone else brings a savory cookie to a cookie swap. Yet, every time I bring the cheese straws to the cookie swap, everyone is so thankful!
Cheese straws always make the perfect hostess gift…. or a treat for any time, really.Print
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Grate cheese and set aside.
- Use a stand mixer to combine cheese, butter, and seasonings.
- Add flour and form into dough. You might need to mix in the last of the flour in by hand as dough will be stiff.
- If dough is too dry to form a ball, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it forms a ball.
- Dough can be rolled into logs and chilled for one hour then sliced and baked. Dough can also be used in a cookie press for a true “straw” appearance.
- Bake on greased cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes.
- I like to use an extra sharp cheddar cheese but feel free to use what you like.
- Dough can be made ahead and frozen. Wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Keep dough wrapped while defrosting.
- Baked cheese straws can be made ahead and frozen. Place cooled cheese straws in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month.
- If baking in slices, finely chopped pecans make a nice addition.
- Feel free to up the amount of spices for more of a kick.
- If heat is your thing, add some chopped jalapenos to the dough.
Join Minette’s Cookie Swap This Year!
So, what about you? Did you join my Cookie Swap and make the snowball cookies? I’d love to see your comments and experience with this recipe. Leave me a comment below and we can talk all things cookie swap and Southern snowball recipes!
Remember, I’ll send you all of this year’s cookie swap recipes right to your Inbox, plus share my cookie baking secrets, so don’t forget to sign up for my cookie swap emails right here
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Did You Make Minette’s Recipe?
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Did you make the cheese straws recipe?? I’d love to know with a comment below!