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Cheese Please: Make Ahead Sticks and Straws

Cheese sticks and straws are crunchy appetizers to make ahead of time

Cheese lovers will absolutely rave over these cheese sticks and straws. They're the perfect make ahead - and crunchy - addition to an appetizer tray, brunch setting, or festive gathering. Grab a handful anytime for that wonderful cheesy flavor.

Pastry Cheese Sticks

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup butter
1 egg, separated
Pinch salt
1-2 teaspoons water
5 ounces Cheddar, finely grated
1 cup parmesan, grated

Sift flour and place in mound on large cutting board or work surface. Make a well and add chunked butter, egg yolk, and salt. Mix until crumbly. Add water and knead to form a smooth dough. Form into ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for one-half hour.

Roll dough out on floured surface to about 6" x 24". Brush half with ½ egg white. Add Cheddar and fold other half on top. Brush the top with remaining egg white and sprinkle with parmesan. Cut in half lengthwise, then make final cuts to measure ½" x 3". Separate and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cheese Twisty Straws
(approximately 24 straws)

10 oz. frozen puff pastry
1 cup grated Asiago
Coarsely ground black pepper
2 eggs yolks (beaten with a little water added - divided use)

Roll out pastry to 12 inches square. Brush with part of the yolk water mixture. Spread Asiago and black pepper across one half of the pastry. Fold over and with rolling pin press lightly several times to smooth out and blend cheese and pastry. Use a pastry wheel and clean ruler to make long, thin strips - about ½ inches wide. Take each section and twist from both ends. Sprinkle water on a baking sheet and place straws. Brush with remaining egg mixture and bake for about 10 minutes at 425 degrees F. Should be lightly browned. Top with sesame seeds if desired.

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