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!
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: