Ready or not, here come the holidays! A fun part of every holiday season are the holiday parties that fill our weekends from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Whether a small gathering or large bash, formal or casual, the hallmark of every holiday party (besides the carefully hung mistletoe) is the food, and my favorite part of the holiday menu are the holiday appetizers. Though there are many to choose from, a perfect appetizer for the holiday season are cheese straws, which I can say from experience never last long thanks to their buttery, cheesy flavor and crisp bite.
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
I fell in love with cheese straws over the course of recipe testing for the new Yankee Magazine cookbook, Lost and Vintage Recipes. Cheese Straws are just one of the many tasty and classic recipes featured in the cookbook, which is also packed with beautiful photography. If you don’t have a copy yet, look for it wherever Yankee Magazine is sold, or order it from the Yankee Magazine store!
Extra! Click to read what it’s like Behind the Scenes at a Yankee Cookbook Photo Shoot.
Of course, to make the best cheese straws you’ll need some fresh sharp Vermont cheddar cheese. I know it’s easier to grab the bag of shredded cheese, but your straws will taste much better if you grate the cheese by hand. Bagged shredded cheese is coated with a thin layer of cellulose to keep the cheese from sticking, so you get a better “melt” with hand-shredded cheese.
The dough comes together easily and is rolled out like pie dough. I used a pizza cutter to slice the dough into (mostly) neat and even strips, which I then arranged on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In the oven, these party straws bake up tender and golden and smell heavenly. You can’t go wrong with butter and cheese. Serve the cheese straws lined up on a platter or standing up in bag or cone like french fries for a pretty presentation — no ketchup needed!
Additionally, if you want to ration out the cheesy goodness, you can easily freeze a portion for later.
Extra! Want more appetizers? Check out our special ongoing web series “Holiday Appetizers Through the Decades” or click on the image below.