Southern Cheese Straws
Looking for a tasty party appetizer? Or a snack for movie night in the basement? Put a batch of these Southern Cheese Straws on the menu!
This Southern Cheese Straws post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!
These Southern Cheese Straws remind me of pajamas, and not just any pajamas – footy pajamas. Growing up, my parents would host cocktail parties a couple times a year. My sister and I would be allowed to get take-out food and rent a movie from Blockbuster. Then we’d stay upstairs with the family dog eating our dinner and watching Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead or Free Willy. Near the end of the night (when there were only a few stragglers left), we’d sneak downstairs in our footy pajamas and nibble on the leftovers. These cheese straws were always a favorite!
These days I don’t need to wait until the cocktail party is over to nibble on some cheese straws. (Although, for the record, I do still have footy pajamas. Don’t judge – they’re amazing.) Cheese straws are often included in various foodie gift baskets that show up during the holidays. However, these Southern Cheese Straws are super easy to make!
Southern Cheese Straws
As a kid, cheese straws were the quintessential Southern party snack. It didn’t matter if it was a holiday party, a tailgate or a wedding – cheese straws were there. They’re easy to make, and they travel well so they’re great to take to parties. Plus, they’re delicious!
The fun thing about these Southern Cheese Straws is you can play with the flavor by changing the type of cheddar cheese you use. For this batch, I used Cabot’s Habanero Cheddar Cheese. Make no mistake – this habanero cheese is spicy! Once baked into cheese straw form, I find the flavor to be perfect for a cocktail party appetizer. The cheese straws are spicy – but you find yourself going back for another…and another…and another.
Of course, if spicy foods aren’t your thing, then try Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar instead. Or perhaps play around with a combination of flavors. This recipe calls for (2) 8-ounce blocks of cheese, so you could use 2 different flavors. Cabot’s Horseradish Cheddar coupled with a classic sharp cheddar would be a fun way to mix things up a bit!
I’ve noted on a number of occasions recently how much Robbie has enjoyed helping me in the kitchen. He’s still home with us full-time right now, and we’ve had to find ways to get our work done while also entertaining him. Having him help me in the kitchen has definitely been a silver lining to the craziness of this past year. Robbie was visiting his grandparents when I made these Southern Cheese Straws, so he didn’t get to help out this time. However, I suspect we’ll be making these again very soon. After all, it’s the holidays, and appetizers + footy pajamas are a requirement!
Speaking of helping in the kitchen, Cabot has a great Cooking With Kids section on their website. If you have young ones (preschool – teens) at home, check it out. There’s a collection of kid-friendly recipes as well as recommended skills to teach for each age group. Robbie is an expert package opener, and he loves to help stir things in bowls. (Some of it actually stays in the bowl, too!)
As we head into the holiday season, I wish you and your family a safe and happy time. This holiday season might look different from ones in the past, but we can still put on footy pajamas, watch movies and nibble on cheese straws together. Cheers!
Did you make a batch of these Southern Cheese Straws at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me (@Spicedblog) and Cabot (@CabotCheese) on Instagram. We’d love to see your version!
Southern Cheese Straws
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 16 oz. Cabot cheddar cheese grated
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper optional - omit if using a spicy cheddar cheese
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a countertop mixer, add butter and grated cheese; mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, or until well combined.
- Add flour, salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder; mix until well combined. At this point, the dough should be firm, but soft enough to press through a cookie press. If needed, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to soften the dough.
- Spray 2-3 sheets of parchment paper lightly with nonstick baking spray. (The number of sheets of parchment will vary based on thickness of your cheese straws.)
- Using a cookie press fitted with an open star disk, add a portion of the dough and press out into long strips that run the length of the pan. Repeat until all dough has been piped out. (Note: If you don’t have a cookie press, you can simply roll this dough into round stick form instead.)
- Using a butter knife, cut the long strips into smaller 3-4” pieces.
- Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until straws are golden brown and crisp. (Note: The baking time will vary based on the thickness of your cheese straws. Bake until the tops are slightly crispy to the touch.)
- Let straws cool before serving.
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container.
Looking for more tasty appetizer or party food recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Cheesy Muffin Tin Garlic Knots
Philly Cheesesteak Monkey Bread
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LOL. I love those pajamas and usually break out a pair around Christmas. What can I say? I love them! So cozy. A big batch of these straws, comfy pjs and I’m one happy lady! Have an awesome week ahead, David 🙂
Footie pajamas are the best! I haven’t broken out my pairs (yes, multiple) yet…but I’ve got my eye on them for when we finally hit Christmas break. 🙂 And I think a batch of cheese straws will be a requirement for that time. Cheers, Dawn!
Oh, I loved putting those jammies on my girls!!! What a lovely memory. Love these cheese straws, too. Habanero cheese, well any chile pepper cheese is so fun!
Footie pajamas are the best – you should order an adult pair, Mimi! And, yes, chile peppers + cheese is a great combo. Yum!
I’ve been meaning to make cheese straws David, it’s like you read my mind!!! These look absolutely melt-in-your mouth delicious, YUM!! I can tell this is a recipe my daughter would enjoy helping with too! Just checked out the Cabot Kid’s recipe section, what a great find. Definitely going to have my daughter chose some recipes we can make together from there as well. 😋
Haha – we were on the same wavelength there, Shannon! (I hope you share the footie pajama wavelength, too!) And, yes, the Cabot Kids site is a really cool resource – especially now when we have the kids at home a lot more than normal! Cheers, my friend!
so what are footy pyjamas? and a tailgate? i take it that’s some kind of outdoor picnic? your straws sound like the bomb. delicious with drinks I bet. nothing better than a spicy little nibble with your wine. take care and have a happy festive season.
Haha! Once again, the terminology big strikes. 🙂 Footy pajamas are literally that – one-piece pajamas with feet built in. Google ’em. They make them in adult sizes and they are amazing for cold days! And a tailgate is indeed an outdoor picnic – typically centered around a sporting event. It’s a great excuse to bring all sorts of delicious appetizers for you and your friends to share. Wherever you enjoy them, I can promise you that these cheese straws are a delicious appetizer/snack!
Okay David, there’s your second name “David-the-Cheese-Straws-Stealer”. I am not sure if nibbling on leftovers is considered stealing…more like helping to clean the kitchen, I guess? I am a huge cheese lover, including cheese biscuits/crackers, so thanks for another idea!
Haha – I like your logic here, Ben. I’m not stealing anything from the kitchen, I’m just helping clean up! 🙂 Also, if you love cheese, then you absolutely have to make a batch of cheese straws. It’s fun to play around with different flavors of cheddar here, too.
Honestly, this is the first time I heard about this. Looks like a really great snack!
Ah! You’ve got to make a batch of cheese straws then, Raymund. These were a staple in our house growing up, and they make for one heck of a tasty appetizer/snack!
What a fun memory you have connected to these cheese straws, David! And I see why they were a draw for you and your sister – they look totally irresistible!
Now that you say it, I think a lot of recipes I make have fun memories attached to them. Either it’s the recipe itself, or perhaps it’s an ingredient (like blackberries or pecans). Either way, these cheese straws were a staple cocktail party appetizer growing up…and we’ve continued the tradition in our family now!
These are the type of appetizer I’ve been searching for! I love the baked cheesiness of them, and how easy they are to make! And, a bonus – I can finally use that cookie press that’s been sitting in the drawer for awhile (10 years!), Ahem. Thanks, David, for the recipe!
Haha – I know all about the cookie press collecting dust. In fact, when I went to make a batch of these cheese straws, I had to hunt for my cookie press! (I found it stashed behind some pans on the basement storage rack – phew.) We really love cheese straws, and it’s fun to play around with the different flavors of cheddar, too. Happy baking, Laura!
Um….footy pajamas??? You said not to judge so I won’t and I’m sure they are comfy! I love that you’ve used a spicy cheese in these straws. Talk about flavor! This is my kind of nibbling food and nothing like the holidays to bring out the very best spreads!
Hey, I think it’s time to buy something for yourself, Kathy – starting with an adult pair of footy pajamas! Seriously. They’re pretty awesome to curl up in on a snowy weekend day. 🙂 And then you can make some awesome nibbling food like this cheese straws, too. These are a staple holiday appetizer in our house! Cheers!
In years past I cannot remember a Christmas party I went to down here in the South that didn’t include cheese straws! And, this year since there aren’t any parties to go to to get my fil – I’m thankful for your recipe!
Also, David, thanks for your kind words regarding Tawny – I’m sorry about the decision y’all had to make regarding your dog last year – loss like that isn’t easy at all. Hoping this holiday season has been and will be a good one for all of y’all!
So you know what I mean about cheese straws then! They are a Southern cocktail party staple. (They might be a staple everywhere, but I grew up in the South! Come to think of it, I don’t see them as often up here…) This recipe is a keeper for sure!
And thank you for the kind words. I just wish our dogs could live as long as we do. Time helps. I’m not sure if you saw the post, but we adopted 2 rescue puppies out of Mississippi earlier this summer. Life is a bit hectic in this house right now – especially with Robbie here 24-7 due to the lockdown. Either way, happy holidays, my friend!
How long can we keep the cheese straws for? And how do we store it to retain the crispiness?⁸
Hey Kamla! These cheese straws can be kept for up to a week. Just let them cool completely, and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will soften just slightly, but we’ve found that we can put them in a toaster oven for a minute or two to restore the crispiness! (If you don’t have a toaster oven, just put them in the oven at 350F for 4-5 minutes.) I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
I know this blog is a year old, but I had to stop and rate/comment because this recipe is the one! My cousin and I have been trying for years to make cheese straws that are as good as the ones we get at a bakery here (they are pretty pricy, but delicious). Year after year, we fail. This year, I thought “I bet David has a recipe.” Of course you do! Honestly, these are so good, I could have stopped there, but I made another batch and added another 8 ounces of cheese (I used a combo of Cabot seriously sharp and Vermont sharp) with no other changes—only because we wanted them just a little cheesier. And oh my gosh, now they were every bit as good, maybe better than our favorite bakery straws. I did beat the heck out of room temp cheese and butter on 9 in my kitchen aid mixer for a good 15 minutes and I pressed the straws out onto ungreased Nordicware sheet pans, trying to ensure crispy bottoms —not sure if that was necessary, but they turned out cheesy, crispy, light as a feather. Your recipe is perfect as is, but try that extra cheese sometime and see what you think!
Hey Kim! Thank you so much for taking the time to swing back by this post and leave a comment. I do love this recipe – especially during the holiday season when we snack on appetizers like this more often. I like your idea of the extra cheese here – I mean, more cheese = more better, right? 🙂 Laura and I were just talking about our favorite holiday recipes that we want to make this year…and I’m thinking I need to put this one on the list with the extra cheese. So glad these turned out well, Kim – no need for the pricy ones from the bakery anymore! 🙂 Cheers, my friend!