Mom learnt these at a baking course she took decades ago. On completing her training she started taking Bakery classes at home. She used to stack these cheese straws as they were easy to make, we loved it as kids . Interestingly, they have a shelf life of an entire month! Hmm…thats not a bad thing but will anyone leave them for a month? They are gone in a matter of days and sometimes hours.
This time I decided to make Lots of them. So I spent about 4 hours and baked them in 4 batches, but what about the total effort? Not that much because once the dough is ready all you need to do is roll it out and bake it for 20 mins, making as many batches as you like. I find standing near a hot oil kadai ( or wok) deep frying stuff more tiring. Moreover, anything that contains as much water as cheese can make the oil splutter angrily. If there is a single opening in the dough it can make the cheese melt straight out of the casing spoiling the oil. On the other hand while baking if the exact same thing happens, not to worry. The excess cheese will flow out and get hardened. You can easily chip if off or even eat it.
We celebrated Sankranti last Thursday. Its rare to see everyone not only awake but also ready for the puja early on a holiday. We made Spilt urad dal khichdi and til rawa laddus for prasad. I thought of sharing a picture of the prasad with you.
My Daughter has learnt over time that she has to wait for the photo shoot to get over before she can dig into anything. She waits patiently for her turn now. Not to eat but to shoot the food with her toy camera.
Recipe for Cheese Straws
- 55 gms Cheese (regular processed cheese cubes)
- 55 gms Unsalted Butter
- 115 gms Flour / Maida (approx 1 cup)
- Ice cold water to knead
Add the following ingredients as per your taste:
- Chillie flakes
- Italian seasoning (a dry powdered mixture)
- Grate the cheese in a bowl.
- Partly cream the fat. Mix the cheese and the butter well.
- Now add the sieved flour into it. Mix salt, Italian seasoning, pepper powder and chillie flakes.
- Rub it with your fingers till the mix resembles tiny bread crumbs.
- Now add ice cold water one teaspoon at a time and gently knead the dough.
- Once the dough comes together and becomes quite sticky , make a ball and place it in a bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour.
- Take it out of the fridge once set. Gently knead it by dusting it with some flour.
- Roll it out with the help of a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness . Cut it into straws (or any other shape with a cookie cutter)
- Grease a baking tray and preheat the oven. Place the straws on it and Bake at 175 deg C for 30-25 mins.
- Add salt cautiously. Please remember that if your cheese or butter already contains salt then the mix could become too salty.
- You can use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour to make it a healthy snack for kids.
- You can store cheese straws for weeks in a clean, dry container.
- In case you have given the straws a different shape using a cookie cutter you might need to bake it for lesser time. Please keep a watch on the crackers and remove as soon as they turn brown.
- Please be very careful while adding the ice cold water. Add it one teaspoon at a time as excess water could make the dough unmanageable.