TT Test Kitchen Tip: A staple cocktail snack in the South, these cheese straws are easy to make. The straws can be assembled and frozen flat on a sheet tray. Once they're frozen, store the straws in a tightly sealed container, then bake when desired for a simple before-dinner treat.
Cheese and Prosciutto Straws
Yield: Makes about 25 to 30 five-inch straws
Cook Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes refrigeration
1½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
¼ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
¼ cup finely chopped prosciutto
2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°. In the bowl of a standing mixer, blend together the butter, cheddar, ½ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper and the paprika. Gradually add the flour mixture and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream. Fold in the prosciutto and mix until a dough barely forms. Divide the dough into two balls the same size, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaky sea salt with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of the cayenne pepper.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, about 1/16 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, knife or pastry wheel, cut the dough into ¾-inch-wide-by-6-inch-long strips. Transfer the strips to baking sheets and use a pastry brush to brush the strips with the remaining tablespoon of the heavy cream. Sprinkle each strip with the seasoned salt and gently twist each strip. Place in the oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough until all of it has been used. Serve warm or at room temperature.