Happy Halloween! If you’re looking for holiday-appropriate recipes, see here, here, and here. If, however, you are ready to move on to Thanksgiving recipes, you’re in the right place.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting the sorts of recipes I’d like to put on my holiday table. You know, the sorts of things I’d make if I came from a family that cooked on Thanksgiving.
I don’t though, and we already have a reservation, so consider these next six or seven posts as a little teaser of what I will one day make when I get to live out my dream of making a Thanksgiving Dinner at home.There is going to be a lot of pie (starting Friday!), but before we get to dessert, let’s have an appetizer: Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws.These golden, twisted beauties are perfect for any holiday cheese plate. They’re salty, flaky, cheesy, and have an aromatic hit of fresh rosemary—they’re perfect sidled up to a pile of sliced fresh pears.While these cheese straws look fancy, they are easy to make from scratch and require only eight ingredients. The base recipe is rough puff pastry dough.
Whenever possible, I like to use rough puff in place of frozen puff pastry. Here, it’s not an option to start with pre-made pastry because minced fresh rosemary is incorporated directly into the dough. Don’t worry—this is extremely easy to make and takes about five minutes total.Once you have a dough, roll it into a sheet. Scatter fine, airy shreds of fresh Parmesan over the top and fold it all together like a letter. This will give you flaky layer of dough, along with almost impossibly thin layers of cheese. Flavor allllllll over the place!Repeat the folding process five more times and give it one extra, cheese-less fold to lock everything in—this is to ensure that there isn’t any exposed cheese left to burn during baking. Let the dough chill for an hour, or even a couple of days.When you’re ready to bake, slice it into long, thin strips. Brush them with egg wash and give them a twist before laying them on parchment-lined baking sheets.Bake the cheese straws for ten minutes before flipping them over and letting them go for another two minutes.Aren’t they stunning?And talk about delicious—layer upon layer of rosemary-speckled pastry and Parmesan.Yes.
Rosemary-Parmesan Cheese Straws
makes 27-28 straws
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into cubes
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold
4 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and rosemary. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Top with 1/6 of the grated Parmesan (about 2-3 tablespoons). Fold dough in thirds (like a letter), and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, scatter on 1/6 of the Parmesan, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, scattering, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. If anything gets warm or soft during this process, return the dough to the refrigerator for 15 minutes before continuing.
Roll and fold one more time (a 7th time); this is to seal in the last layer of cheese. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
Make egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl. Whisk them together with a fork. Set aside.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Slice in half width-wise, so that you have 2 10×7-inch pieces. Return one half to the fridge.
Slice the remaining piece of dough into 10×1/2-inch strips. Before separating them, brush them all with egg wash. Working with one at a time, twist strips and lay them 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Keep in mind that they will uncoil a bit during baking. If anything gets warm or soft during this process, return the dough to the refrigerator for 15 minutes before continuing.
Bake straws for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottoms and light golden on the tops. Flip them over and bake an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven. Let straws cool on pans for 3-5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat slicing, twisting, and baking processes with remaining dough.
Cheese straws are best the day they are made, but may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Do not refrigerate.