Cheese Straws

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: about

    6 dozen


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

Since my earliest childhood, I have had what amounts to a passion for cheese straws, particularly those with a tangy bite that comes not only from the cheese but from a touch or more of cayenne. The source of the recipe given here for those straws is Charlie Swayze, Sr., a family friend of many years from Greenwood, Mississippi.


  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • ½ pound sharp Cheddar or blue cheese
  • cups flour
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Put the butter and cheese in the container of a food processor. Add the flour, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Cover and blend thoroughly. If a food processor is not used, put the flour, salt, and cayenne in a bowl. Add the butter, cheese, and Worcestershire, and using two knives or a pastry blender, blend thoroughly.
  3. Use a cookie press outfitted with a houndstooth or star dispenser. Push the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet to make individual straws. Or, if desired, roll the dough out to -inch thickness and cut it into individual strips, which can be twisted if desired, or other shapes. Arrange the pieces on 1 or 2 ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Place the baking sheet or sheets in the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the straws are crisp and lightly browned. If you wish a darker color, let them cook longer. Remove and let cool.