Joy the Baker

Parmesan and Herb Cheese Straws

February 17, 2012

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I don’t know any good party card tricks.

I have one joke.  It goes exactly like this:

How do you catch a unique bird?

….. You nique (as in… sneak) up on it.

Yea.  It’s bad.  That’s totally not a good party joke unless you’re dressed as a clown and making balloon animals for 6 year olds.

I’m a little awkward when it comes to casual party conversation.  I’m awful when it comes to remembering names.  I’m not the kind of girl that sings karaoke or plays rock band… it’s really just better if I don’t partake in these sort of party activities.

You know where to find me at a party… the kitchen.  Obviously.  Can I help you with that potato salad?  Can I make you a cocktail?  Can I whip up some chocolate chip cookies?  Perhaps you’d like some sparkling water with cucumber.

And.  Come to think of it.  I totally do have one party trick!  Cheese straws.  They’re so easy… and they’ll so make you feel Martha Stewart-ish.

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Also!  There’s an important note that has nothing to do with cheese, straws, or bad party jokes.

I’m going on book tour with the release of my first cookbook, the Joy the Baker Cookbook…  out on February 28th.

Check out where I’ll be on this little Book Tour.  I humbly request your smiling face meet mine!

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For this easy party trick, we’re working with puff pastry.

Puff pastry has a way of making everything easy.

It also has a way of creating that ‘wow-factor’ thing…. it’s all the puff and fluff created by pastry layers.

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I think this sort of thing is as pretty as can be.

They’ll get prettier too!  Golden brown and crunchy good!

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After a bit of baking, the puff pastry becomes golden brown and butter flakey.  The cheese melts and locks in all the herby good flavor.  The whole pastry becomes a party-friendly cracker rod.

You look like a flawless hostess.  Your dress is ironed.  Your shoes are pretty.  You haven’t even broken a sweat.

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And your cat?  How he covets.

Parmesan and Herb Cheese Straws

adapted from Shutterbean

makes about 16 straws

Print this Recipe!

1 large egg, beaten

few dashes of hot sauce

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold.

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

coarse ground black pepper

coarse sea salt

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll out just slightly.  The puff pastry should measure about 10×12-inches.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, hot sauce, and a splash of water.  Brush the egg wash over the surface of the puff pastry.  Sprinkle pastry with cheese and herbs, coarse pepper, and a bit of salt.  Use the rolling pin to gently roll and press the toppings into the puff pastry.

Using a floured knife or pizza cutter, cut pastry lengthwise into about 1/2-inch strips.  Hold each end of the pastry and twist several times.  place the twisted pastry on the prepared sheet, about 1-inch apart.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.  You may want to take the baking cheese straws out halfway through baking to flip.  Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before placing in a large glass to serve.

Cheese straws will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days.  They’re really best within a day of baking.  


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