Pimento Cheese Straws
Southern-style cheese straws are savory shortbread, made of butter, flour, and cheese. This recipe gets pimento cheese added to the mix, and the result is so incredibly Southern they ought to have an accent.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces freshly grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature (about 2 cups)
- 1 4-ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained and patted dry
- ►Position oven racks in the top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two baking sheets or line them with silicone baking liners or parchment paper.
- ►Combine flour, salt, onion powder, and cayenne in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to combine. Add butter and cheese and process until almost smooth. Add chopped pimentos and pulse a few times. Transfer dough to a clean bowl and finish incorporating pimentos into the dough by hand. (If you use the food processor it will purée the pimentos and you’ll wind up with orange dough.)
- ►Transfer dough to a clean work surface. To shape dough, work it in your hands; it should be soft and pliable (like Play-Doh). Shape dough into two equal cylinders and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- ►Remove chilled dough from refrigerator. Then, working with 1 cylinder at a time, using a utility knife, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Any remaining scraps can be re-shaped into cylinders, chilled again, and cut into slices.
- ►Bake cheese straws, rotating the baking sheets once, until lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a rack to cool slightly. Using an offset or slotted spatula, remove the individual shortbreads to a rack and cool completely.
- ►Store the cheese straws at room temperature in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper. They will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
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