These easy Southern cheese straws are a finger food recipe made with cheddar, butter, garlic powder, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. This crispy appetizer is perfect for a crowd. Serve them with dip for an easy appetizer!
- 3 cups extra sharp cheddar, grated and at room temperature (226g)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (143g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Grate the room-temperature cheddar to get 3 cups.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Beat 1/2 cup (115g) of softened butter and the grated cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until well blended, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Reserve the other tablespoon of butter for the next step.
- Dump in the dry ingredients all at once and beat until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be dry at first, and will take a minute or two to become a playdough-like consistency. If the mixture doesn't come together after a minute or two of beating, add the tablespoon or two of reserved butter, which should bring the mixture together. Don't add any liquid, as it will affect the texture of the dough.
- Knead the dough for a minute or two to combine, then roll the dough into ropes about 1/3 inch (1 centimeter) in diameter. Cut the ropes into 6-inch lengths, then place the cheese straws about an inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake at 375 F for 15-18 minutes per tray, until crispy and golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the straws to wire racks to cool before serving.
- It's very important that both the cheese and butter be at room temperature. Cold ingredients will not incorporate as well as room-temperature ones.
- Be sure to grate your own cheese. Pre-grated cheese is coated with cellulose, which will prevent it from mixing well with the other ingredients.
- Short on time? Make the dough up ahead of time, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you're ready to roll and bake the straws.
- Leftovers keep well on the counter for a few days in an airtight container.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: southern, best