Yield: Makes 2 dozen.
Cheese-based hors d'oeuvres have always been a New England mainstay, particularly during the era that we now consider "vintage." They're tasty, salty enough to whet your thirst, and rich enough to feel substantial. These cheese straws can trace their roots back to France and later England, where puffed pastry rounds sprinkled with cheese were called Sefton fancies.
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- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons very cold water
- Dash of Tabasco
Preheat oven to 400° and grease two baking sheets.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the butter and half the cheese into the flour. Add water and Tabasco, then turn the dough out onto floured board and lightly knead in the remaining cheese until the dough comes together.
Roll the dough into a 1/4 -inch-thick rectangle, then cut into strips 1/2 inch wide and 5 inches long. Arrange the strips on the prepared baking sheets, and bake until nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.