Cheese Crisps That Will Be Gone in an Instant

I’ve been meaning to try to make cheese straws for a while. They are so yummy and crispy. But they seem so fussy and hard to make—and as you know I always try to get to super-simple. Well, these are so simple to make and taste so good, they won’t last until they cool. You can make them to impress people at dinner parties (which I rarely hold), or you can make them as a snack just for fun.

I adapted this from a recipe in my favorite magazine, Garden and Gun. As a Southern lifestyle magazine, they went more traditional with white flour and hot peppers (if you’ve had a cheese straw down South, you know they pack a punch!). While I would love that, my kids would cry and that would annoy me, so no hot peppers, no crying, and no regrets!

I am not calling these straws because I am such an unfussy cook that getting a straw look takes too much work. I found that making little balls is much easier, and tastes just as yummiful!

Cheese Crisps

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (organic, of course)

4 Tablespoons butter (softened)

6 ounces cheddar cheese (or ¾ cup)

¼ cup Romano cheese

1 egg yolk

¼ cup olive oil

Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add all the ingredients and mix together in a bowl, like you are making pie dough.

3. Roll out with a rolling pin on a floured surface, and knead it by folding it over a few times. It should feel soft, and even greasy! Fold and press a few more times.

4. Roll into little balls whatever size you want—teeny-tiny or cookie-size—and press gently.

5. Sprinkle tops with salt (just a little!)

6. Bake for about 20 minutes (keep an eye on them; smaller ones will take less time, larger, more—you want them browned and bubbling).

7. Put on a rack on parchment paper to cool, and eat ‘em up!

Of course, feel free to doctor these up with hot peppers, herbs, or different cheeses!

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15 Responses to Cheese Crisps That Will Be Gone in an Instant

  1. Susan says:

    Sorry, Garden and Gun. Singular, not plural, horticulture and ballistics.

  2. maria (farm country kitchen) says:

    It’s the awesomest magazine in the whole world…other than my own of course!

  3. Laurie says:

    My favorite wouldn’t be a gun publication–try MaryJane’s Farm, it’s wonderful.

  4. Linda says:

    This is a great recipe. I will try it,asap. I tried something similar with hand made puff pastry once. Talk about lotsa butter! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Jurrina says:

    My whole family love Cheese Crisp. Daily in the afternoon they are crazy about to eat Cheese Crisp. I make that recipe in a different way; it counts me a lot of time to be made. I will try this recipe. Thanks for sharing Maria; I have a cooking book and all the time I make different meals for my family, my Kitchen Cabinets Hamilton are always full with ready to cook Cheese Crisp.

  6. matt says:

    I am feel like Jurrina might have lot of money in offshore account that needs your account number to you for send.

  7. matt says:

    Sorry for my last dumbass comment.

    Also, sorry for butting into your conversation. But, ummmmm, uh, errrr, uh, wellllll………………uh

    Did I hear “all y’all” (proper Texas slang) talking about not only guns (which I am not a big fan of (unless I’m shootin’ in which I am a big fan)) but cheese and a way to make it crispy and even more delicious than it already was?

    Anywhooo.

  8. maria (farm country kitchen) says:

    Thank you for apologizing Matt,

    I like to think we can talk about anything here — but in a way that’s respectful of all people and all our myriad differences.

    Here’s to cheese crisps!

  9. matt says:

    Let’s talk about anything then.

    First topic: Women’s liberation vs. the “Myriad of Cultural Difference”.

    When I was an undergrad, I wrote a paper on the Yanomomo tribe of Northern Brazil. In my reading on this topic, I found a couple of interesting things:

    First, the men of the tribe had a ceremony in which they punched each other in the chest as hard as they possibly could.

    Second, the women of the tribe rated the amount that their husbands loved them by how hard their husbands had beaten them.

    Anyway. I just really think that it sucks that Jurrina is stuck in the kitchen.

  10. maria (farm country kitchen) says:

    And I’m so glad I’m not a member of the Yanomomo tribe of Northern Brazil! :-)

  11. DJ in PA says:

    Thanks for the recipe! We have enjoyed our share of cheese straws at our house over the years but you are absolutely right: shaping them can be terribly fussy and a nuisance. Who needs that?!

    I too love Garden & Gun lest anyone get the wrong idea about it without–you know– actually reading it: for those who are unaware, it is a high quality magazine all about an outdoors/country lifestyle including pursuits that are in praise of basic living/self sufficiency: skills of fishing, hunting for food or just the fun of things like paddling sports or sporting clays– in addition to features on home, garden and a great eye for the arts. One can embody all of that without living in a remote compound, away from white table cloths, concert halls or painting exhibitions. It reminds me of an American magazine version of a Barbour ad and come to think of it, at a certain strain of southern society, one can get the closest taste of our nation’s British roots here on our side of the pond, than any other region, IMHO. Huey Lewis was right when he sang “Its hip to be square.”

    Please pardon my soap-box (uh-oh, you done set Mama off to rantin’…) but I just want to say this: I was a non-native living for almost thirty years in the South. I am very happily married to truly a southern *gentleman* whose family has deep traditions in and great respect for the great outdoors– not too far removed from hunting for whatever protein they managed to enjoy in their diet besides dry beans. They didn’t visit the farmer’s market because, well, they were the farmers. They were organic, quasi-vegetarian, recycling, free-cycling, bartering and putting up food out of necessity long before it became hip. But they also know how to fish for trout, hunt critters and grow some bodacious veggies out back, so unlike a whole lot of the rest of us, they’ll never go hungry.

    My son is a past state high school precision rifle champion from the days we lived in the south and I will always be extremely proud of his sports accomplishment. He missed an invitation for a try-out at the Olympic training center by only a few points. He was courted by colleges with competitive precision rifle team programs–(only one of them from the south) but set aside his love of that sport while in university to focus on a very rigorous academic course of study instead.

    He loves shooting but isn’t a tough-guy-bully; isn’t a violent loner; isn’t “overcompensating”; doesn’t drive a truck with a gun rack; doesn’t chew tobacco; isn’t named Billy-Bob; doesn’t go around “packing”; doesn’t own an NRA bumper sticker; nor does he shoot anything but paper targets in a closed range during practice or competition.

    Serious and successful shooting sports folks tend to be sober, intelligent, focused and mind-bogglingly precise not only in their marksmanship but their ability to discern nuance in their own views/attitudes about gun safety/regulations aside from their own personal sporting passion and political persuasion.

    To be able to discipline one’s self to pull the trigger between one’s own heartbeats and breaths to increase accuracy of shot–and hit a half dollar sized bullseye from 300 yards with a single shot is a long way from the typical Hee-Hawing, gun-toting, inbred, moonshine-soused bigot stereotypes.

    It really saddens that so many people these days hear the word “gun” (and Lord help ya if “South” is in the same breath too) and instantly form a terribly skewed mental image. It reveals so much cultural baggage this nation needs to shed if we are to move ahead in harmony. But often, folks who think like that are people who have no real understanding or experience deeply living/interacting with folks who live a much different life than the one they’ve known.

    Are there yahoos, goof-balls and the criminally insane who should not be anywhere near fire arms? Absolutely. Are there more of them in one region than another? I doubt it.

    Oh. And our lad? He grew up to be a high tech engineer working in a very specialized field requiring incredible accuracy, one which makes every one of us –and our environment– safer and cleaner. Only recently, he returned to his beloved rifle sport and just completed designing and building his own precision competition rifle.

    I was always personally uncomfortable around guns myself. And had I known in real time that my kid was off gleefully shooting rifles at Boy Scout Camp, I might have been a bit worried. But he came home with a camp rifle blue ribbon (on his first try at the sport) and a new level of self-confidence. My own family didn’t own guns and one pair of my grandparents were religious pacifists. But I have to say that my kid taught me a few things about thinking beyond my personal biases or dislikes and that diversity of tastes doesn’t have to be a threatening thing. He also taught me to lighten up a bit. (When I’m not on my soap-box.)

    So, Maria, y’all eat your cheese straws/crisps/whatchamacallits in any shape you want, with or without hot peppers. As a snack or as a starter for Grandpa’s wild rabbit confit, sauteed ramps, a mess of turnip greens and Granny’s fried green tomatoes. Whatever melts your beeswax. Any and all of it is sure to make you smack your lips and say “howdy”. :-)

  12. Susan (different one) says:

    Oooh, cheese straws were one of my grandmother’s specialties (along with coconut cake, caramel cake, and fig preserves). She alway put a dash of cayenne pepper in hers–sometimes a bit too much for my taste.

    My mother made a similar recipe where she made them into balls–sorta like you–but she wrapped them around a pimento-stuffed green olive. Very 60s.

    Good memories!

  13. Laurie says:

    I hadn’t really thought of it before, but maybe shooting predators in the garden really is more organic than poison. . . and quicker than all those clever things advertised in Organic Gardening magazine.

  14. matt says:

    Laurie’s thought gave me another thought.

    This thought seems to go as follows:

    All of Life feasts on Death. From trees to bacteria to blades of grass and worms and everything else.

    If I were to become a vegetarian, would anything change? Absolutely NOT!!! The blades of grass must have feasted on something in order for me to live on blades of grass.

    Anyway,God bless all Y’all. I have a Subway sandwich I need to eat so I can get up in the morning to do this whole meaningless thing again tomorrow.

    Matt

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