05 January 2012

Christmas Cooking - Cheese Straws

This is a new recipe for me this year. That said, I'm usually pretty terrible with puff pastry - I think it's the defrosting. No, really I do. Somehow I can't get that right. Either I take it out and it's still too frozen or I take it out and it sticks together and I have a terrible time with it.

Cheese Straws
Credit: Ina Garten
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm),
defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
Flour, for dusting
1 extra-large egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board until it is 10- by 12-inches. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the surface of the pastry. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan, 1⁄2 cup of the Gruyère, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the thyme, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, and some pepper. With the rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the puff pastry. Cut each sheet crosswise with a floured knife or pizza wheel into 11 or 12 strips. Twist each
strip and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Don't over bake or the cheese will burn. Cool and serve at room temperature. 

Bench Notes: I used cheddar instead of Gruyere and did not use extra salt. I also used a little cayenne on about half the straws - just to see if we would like it.
Imperative that you flour the knife or pizza wheel. 

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