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These delicious Cheese Straws are from a delicious family recipe that is simple to make and perfect for serving at parties and casual gatherings!
My cheese straws recipe is a treasured family heirloom shared with me by my mother and enjoyed for generations. A classic Southern delicacy, they are full of rich cheese and a few simple ingredients.
Rich, decadent Cheese Straws and the South go hand-in-hand. And when they are as scrumptious as these are, they most definitely get requested often for every shower, party and holiday celebration. But they are easy enough to make just because you want to enjoy them any time too. They come together in just about 30 minutes and are formed with a cookie press and baked on baking sheets in the oven. My Mama shared this recipe with me long ago as I have dearly loved these treats for years. They are seriously the best cheese straws I’ve ever tasted.
Cheese Straws Recipe
I loved to watch my mama make these golden crispy treats. I’d perch on a barstool so I was tall enough to watch the magic happen as she mixed these and then began to press from her cookie press onto baking sheets. Sometimes, they’d become a bit squiggly as she’d make them, the cheesy dough deciding the shape it would take rather than staying in a straight line.
Now that I’ve made them for years for my family and for parties, I’ve always thought the slightly curvy ones taste the best – I guess the squiggly ones from childhood could be the reason!
Usually, Mama would make her cheese straws before a big family shower, reunion, or a special meal – like Easter or Christmas. They are truly special and delicious – and the aroma of these beauties baking in the oven is purely divine. I can’t wait for you to try them. Here’s how I make them.
How to Make Cheese Straws
- sharp cheddar cheese – for the best results, grate it yourself
- butter – softened
- flour- all-purpose
- cayenne pepper
- smoked paprika
- black pepper
- garlic powder
Step by Step Instructions
- Preheat and Prep. Preheat oven to 375º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick silicon baking sheets. Set aside.
- Combine. Grate cheddar cheese and place all but 1 cup into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter, then cream (mix) butter and cheese together until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine dry ingredients. In another large bowl, sift together flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Then add flour mixture into cheese and butter mixture by large spoons full, taking care to fully incorporate after each addition.
- Add cheese. Once all flour has been incorporated and dough is smooth, stir in final cup of grated cheddar cheese.
- Pipe dough. Place portions of dough into cookie press or large piping bag fitted with large star piping tip. Slowly pipe long strands of cheese straw dough onto prepared baking sheets about 1 – 1 1/2-inches apart. Then, cut into 6-inch lengths.
- Bake. Bake cheese straws for 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container, layering between parchment paper to keep fresh.
- Serve. It’s best to eat these cheese straws the day they are made. But they will remain fresh up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
- Note – they are delicate. It’s important to remember that these cheese straws are delicate and may break easily. That’s part of the charm of this favorite delicacy.
Perfect Southern Treat
Cheese Straws make a great party food and are iconic here in the south for showers, parties and tailgates. I enjoy serving them for holidays as well. They are just perfect on an Easter table alongside Deviled Eggs and delicious with Chicken Salad and other favorite dishes for a Mother’s Day luncheon.
Mama was often asked to make this or her chicken cheese ball, punch, and cucumber sandwiches for showers and parties.
But my favorites were the ones she made just for us, just because.
I enjoy making these now and had fun making them with my son when he was little, just as my mama did with me. It’s great to make memories cooking and baking. Those memories are some of my very favorites.
More Southern Party Favorites
Here’s my recipe for cheese straws. I hope you love it as much as we do.
Cheese Straws Recipe
- 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick silicon baking sheets. Set aside.
- Grate cheddar cheese and place all but 1 cup into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter and cream butter and cheese together until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Gradually add flour mixture into cheese and butter mixture by large spoons full, taking care to fully incorporate after each addition.
- Once all flour has been incorporated and dough is smooth, stir in final cup of grated cheddar cheese.
- Place portions of dough into cookie press or large piping bag fitted with large star piping tip. Slowly pipe long strands of cheese straw dough onto prepared baking sheets about 1 – 1 1/2-inches apart. Then, cut into 6-inch lengths.
- Bake cheese straws for 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container, layering between parchment paper to keep fresh.
- Best eaten the day they are made, but will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Note that cheese straws are extremely delicate and will break easily. This is part of their charm and character.
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I tried this and I also had dough that was stiff as Play-do. I foolishly tried my pastry bag and got no where. I ended up rolling them out into long “worms”. I friends loved them. But I’m sure they were no where near the taste of What they should be. I bought a cookie press hoping that it would make life easier so I didn’t have to roll worms and have pretty designs from the press – no luck. Play-do once again and nearly broke my press. I’m going to try sifting then measuring and hoping that works. Can you compare the dough consistency to anything so we have a better idea of our success? Thanks
I am happy your friends enjoyed these! I’m sorry the dough was turning out too stiff for you. From your comment, I think the issue may be the flour you are using – I think it may be a more dense flour than what I use. I only use White Lily Flour which is light and fluffy and makes light baked goods. The only other type of dough I can compare this to would be a stiff cookie dough, but it should not be the consistency you describe. I hope this helps! Thanks!
Hi, these look wonderful but I don’t have a cookie press. Can I use a pastry bag and pipe them?
Yes, Narcy. I hope you enjoy them! They are delicious! xo
These are delicious, thank you. I’ve made other recipes and they always seemed to “Flour-y” or off in some way. These are savory goodness.
I have used a cookie press, but Its easier to use a churro press with a star tip. The cylinder is wider than a cookie press and I pipe out long rows on the cookie sheet, bending at the turns. I cut into 2” strips when they are still hot.
This is my go to cheese straw recipe. Thanks again!
Thanks. These have been a favorite in my family for years.
AMAZING. My daughter and I made these with an electric hand mixer. did not sift the flour but stirred dry ingredients with a whisk and used a cookie press flat ribbon cookie to make “crackers” had to beat my 16 year old son off with a wooden spoon.lol. Will use 1/2 tsp cayenne as not enough heat for us. My powder may have been a little flat. Thought may try chipotle powder????
I love that you can add as much “heat” as you want to these cheese straws. Hope your son can get plenty of these or maybe he can help you make some for him later.
I am a reasonably good baker and bake quite often. This was my first time making cheese straws and they were delicious, my problem however was the consistency. It was so stiff, couldn’t be piped. I had to resort to it out and pressing with a fork.They cam out looking like cookies.Any suggestions for me? Less flour? Add water or milk? I live on a small Island so my option for flour are limited.
Cindie, I think the issue may be the flour you are using – I think it may be a more dense flour than what I use. I only use White Lily Flour which is lighter and softer flour than most all-purpose flours and makes light baked goods. You may want to try my How to Make Cake Flour Recipe to add cornstarch to your all-purpose flour so that is a lighter flour for these cheese straws. I hope this helps.
These are the BEST cheese straws I have ever made and now a weekly bake!! Thanks a million for sharing and well done!
I meant to tell you that the mixture was too stiff to pipe so I rolled it out and cut into strips! Baked so light and crisp with a good tang! I’ve made them so often forgot to mention what I fo until I saw the other comments. Still the best by a long way!
Lee, as I have mentioned to others, I think the problem is with the flour you are using. You should be able to pipe the mixture. I use White Lily flour which is a soft wheat flour and is lighter and softer than most all-purpose flours. If you can’t find a softer flour than you are using, you may want to try adding cornstarch to your flour the way I do in How To Make Cake Flour.