I. Love. Cheese. Straws. I had never made them before this post, but I’ve been a longtime fan. Most recently I had some from my Food Blog Forum swag and they were fantastic. Betsy’s Cheese Straws was one of our sponsors and boy do they have an amazing product. After inhaling a box of them, I thought it was time to try making my own. I wanted to add a special touch and decided to make Norwood Cheese Straws from one of my most favorite cheeses ever. Norwood is made in Kentucky by Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese and it rocks my world.
So, how’s it taste?
I knew Norwood would be perfect in a cheese straw. It’s got a bite to it and is a hard cheese, exactly what a good cheese straw needs. Delicate cheeses or cheeses that are light in flavor do not make a good cheese straw. You need intense flavor. I used 1/2 Norwood and 1/2 very sharp cheddar. Jackpot! I must say, this recipe comes close to rivaling Betsy’s. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but my homemade cheese straws were just as hard to put down, so toot toot! The Norwood gave them a subtle jazz that you won’t find in a purely cheddar cheese straw. The slight hint of cayenne is the secret, too. They aren’t hot, but need the little extra something the cayenne brings. I can’t explain it other than to tell you they are irresistible. If you’ve never had Norwood, head to Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese online and order some, or find where it’s sold. It’s life-changing cheese.
Norwood Cheese Straws
adapted by Southern Living
makes about 8 dozen
1/2 lb. Norwood* from Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese, shredded
1/2 lb. very sharp cheddar (New York cheese), shredded
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
*If you can't get Norwood where you live, order it online from Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese at www.kennysfarmhousecheese.com or you can use a full pound of very sharp cheddar for the entire recipe.
1. In a food processor, blend both cheeses, flour, salt, and cayenne. Add the butter and blend until all ingredients are combined.
2. Fit cookie press with a sawtooth disk following your manufacturer's instructions. Press strips of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Score dough at 2-inch intervals using a sharp knife. (My dough didn't come out in long strips so I let it bake with whatever length came out and broke larger pieces when cookies were done and cooled.)
3. Bake at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.* Carefully separate hot cheese straws along scored lines. Remove to wire racks to cool.
*Norwood is lighter in color than cheddar, so if you use Norwood, the cheese straws won't brown. Mine cooked for the full 10 minutes. Test baking a small batch if you're unsure of doneness.