Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cheese Straws

The Internet amazes me. Really. First, there's the incredible ability to find any information about anything imaginable in a matter of only seconds. The there's the fact that you can find virtually anyone on the Internet. I suppose I could let this scare me, but I'm not going to think about it too much. Instead, I'm going to be glad for all the old friends I've reconnected with.

Like Autumn. Autumn and I were grade school friends who were separated by a combination of me leaving our public middle school to go to a private one and her family's move to a different part of the city. Thanks to Facebook, we've reconnected!

Autumn was always full of energy and ready with a big smile. I can tell nothing's really changed about that. She amazes me. She is now married and stays home with her two precious boys. As if that wasn't enough, she also keeps two blogs. A precious family one and a baking blog, Make It a Cupcake Kind of Day!, inspired by "Julie & Julia". Autumn plans to make all the recipes in Williams-Sonoma's Essentials of Baking.

When she and I realized we both have this book (though I have the revised edition, which includes a whole chapter! on chocolate!) we decided we should blog something together. We decided on these cheese straws. And just in case you needed more proof that Autumn is amazing, she made these cheese straws with traditional puff pastry. I used the quick recipe. How does she do it?

Cheese Straws
from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking

1 lb. quick puff pastry (about one recipe)
2/3 c. coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
coarse sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:1. Prepare the puff pastry and refrigerate to chill as directed.

2. Line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the chilled pastry dough to 1/2 in. thickness. Carefully lift the pastry and set aside. Remove any dusting flour from the work surface. Sprinkle the work surface with a light dusting of some of the cheese.

4. Return the pastry to the work surface and roll it out to a 14-in. square about 1/8 in. thick.

5. Brush the half of the pastry farthest from you with some of the beaten egg and sprinkle half the remaining cheese over the egg-brushed surface. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Fold the bottom half of the pastry up over the cheese and press the edges to seal. Roll a rolling pin lightly over the pastry . Brush the pastry with the rest of the egg and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

7. Cut the pastry vertically into strips 1/2 in. wide. Pick up each strip and twist in opposite directions four or five times to make a spiral.

8. Place the straws on on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them one inch apart. Press the ends down to seal. Cover the pan with parchment and refrigerate 45 minutes before baking. **Note: Do not skip the refrigeration. The straws need to rest, or they will untwist in the oven.

9. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

10. Bake the straws until golden brown, 13-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely on the pan. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

One year ago: a heavenly treat made for Elly Says Opa's Eat to the Beat, lemon crostata with fresh figs and goat cheese


Autumn said...

Thanks Kelsey for all the great comments!!

Kelsey said...

Of course, Autumn. Every one of them is true! Thanks for making these with me. I had a great time with this. We should choose another recipe some time!

Joelen said...

These look amazing and I love that these straws are thicker than the ones I usually see!

Lexie said...

This recipe looks like something I need to try. Also, it was very fun seeing all your comments about Autumn. It brings back a lot of memories. I am so glad the two of you have reconnected again.