Puff pastry is one of those magical, almost unicorn-like ingredients. It’s so easy to use and can quickly produce French patisserie-worthy treats in your own kitchen. I find it best to thaw the pastry overnight in the refrigerator, but if you are short on time thaw it on your kitchen counter for about 30 to 35 minutes. Cheese straws can be a bit difficult to twist if the pastry gets too warm. Should this happen, pop the puff pastry in the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill. These savory straws are the perfect accompaniment to a soup or salad.
makes 16 straws
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups (3 1/2 ounces) grated Swiss-style cheese, such as Comté or Gruyère
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees and position racks in the bottom and upper thirds of oven. Line two half-sheet pans or rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the surface of both sheets with the beaten egg. Evenly divide the gruyere and thyme over the two sheets. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and lightly press the ingredients into the puff pastry. Cut each sheet, crosswise, with a sharp knife or pizza cutter into 8 strips. Twist each strip into a “straw” and lay straight on prepared baking sheets, evenly spaced out, with 8 straws per sheet. You don’t want the straws to touch.
Bake straws until they turn a light golden color and are puffed, about 15 minutes. Do not overbake. Cheese Straws are best served the day they are baked.
Enjoy these Cheese Straws as part of our Harvest Soup and Salad Evening.