Cheese Sticks for Oscar Night

cheese sticks

When it comes to hors d’ouevres, I never know what to make. Fortunately, I have friends that do. Oscar night is fixin’ to be a good one thanks to these cheese sticks brought to my attention by my friend Darcy. Oh my. Spicy, salty, crispy — these cheesy cocktail straws are addictive and will never not appear at a party I host from here on out. They take just minutes to whip up. They look beautiful. And they couldn’t be more party friendly — who doesn’t like butter, cheese, salt and a little spice?

I’m looking forward to Oscar night already. Well, that’s only partially true. I actually haven’t seen a single movie being nominated. I don’t know what happened this year. Part of the trouble is, in recent months at least, that I’ve been totally distracted by Foyle’s War — haven’t been able to watch a single other show since beginning the series. Disc one of the final season is sitting on my kitchen table, too. Hmmm. It seems the only certainty for Sunday evening is cheese straws. I can live with that.

Foyle's War

cheese sticks

cheese stick dough

cheese stick dough

cheese stick dough

cheese sticks, unbaked

cheese sticks

Cheese Sticks
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook via The Garden of Eden via Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (I love the Cabot Extra Sharp)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half and half or milk or heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper flakes. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half and half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4- to 1/3-inch wide. (Note: It might be helpful to dip your knife in flour after every few cuts to ensure a clean cut — I did not have to, but Deb of Smitten Kitchen recommends doing so.). Gently transfer the strips to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/4-inch between them.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days, but they taste best when freshly baked and served shortly thereafter.

cheese sticks


  1. says

    So glad you like these! Aren’t they just so easy to make? And addictive…
    And thank you for introducing me to a new show! Rob and I have been looking for something to replace Boardwalk Empire in the off-season and this could be it! By the way, you *have* to see The Artist. It is fantastic.

  2. says

    Gosh, they look good.
    I’m so glad you like Foyle’s War. Christopher Foyle is my absolute favourite tv detective ever. I’ve just finished rewatching them, wish there were more.

  3. Liz says

    You cut the cheese straws into such elegant shapes! As always, your photography is superb. I can’t wait to try this recipe. By the way, Foyle’s War is the best British t.v. series ever. I was in mourning at the end. A thousand times better than Downton Abbey.

  4. AnnaC says

    These are what I’m going to cook tonight – I thought with home-made soup and fruit to follow, for a TV supper by the fire… I live in Hastings and Foyles War was filmed in the Old Town, which was and is a little fishing port. It is beautiful and I regularly walk past his house, and round the little streets where the filming took place… Don’t you wish the world was just full of people like Foyle – all that integrity…. Ah well, off to make cheese straws…. AnnaC

    • says

      AnnaC — Oh my goodness, I am in awe! I cannot believe you actually live in Hastings. Yes, indeed, the world could use a few more Foyles. My Dad was born in Portsmouth but we haven’t been back to visit in a few years now. I love England. I think that’s part of why I love Foyle’s War so much — the scenes from Hastings make me want to jump on a plane and get back there. Your dinner sounds lovely.

  5. sandy from tassie says

    Yummo – thanks. Your photos provide excellent guidance on how things should look each step of the way Alex. Thumbs up to Foyle’s War also.

  6. AnnaC says

    Alexandra – as a p.s., to my previous comment, we’ve just finished here in UK ‘Call the Midwife’ set in the East End in the 1950’s…. It’s broken all viewing records here, despite some look-away moments of births, but I hope you get a chance to see it – if you loved Foyle, I think you’ll love this…. Probably not to watch and eat raw steak, though….

    • says

      AnnaC — thank you so much! I am going to see if I can get ‘Call the Midwife.’ It sounds perfect. Any other suggestions are most welcome. My mother adored MI-5, but I haven’t ventured there yet.

  7. says

    Oh, how I wish I could watch the Oscars, even though I haven’t seen any of the movies either. I love the red carpet shots and the speeches and the little movie clips throughout. Thanks for introducing me to a new show – I just finished season two of Downton Abbey – have you watched it? It’s amazing. I love every little thing about it. I’ll have to check out Foyle’s War and AnnaC’s suggestion for ‘Call the Midwife’, which also sounds right up my alley. Cheese straws seems like the perfect snack to get me through a marathon viewing (seems to be the only way I watch shows these days). Enjoy the Oscars and I hope all is well!

    • says

      Talley — Ben and I are watching Downton, but we are only on season 1. It’s been really fun, too, and I am very excited about AnnaC’s suggestion as well. Yes, I love marathon viewing sessions as well, when I can stay awake that is.

  8. lizzie says

    These look seriously delicious and I must make some forthwith.
    Love Foyles War – watched all the seasons – Michael Kitchen rocks !

  9. says

    Fantastic news for you Foyle’s War fans! Three new stories to be aired in 2013 set in 1946. Foyle will be ‘working to safeguard Britain’s nuclear secrets’ so says this week’s copy of the Radio Times (UK tv guide). Honeysuckle Weeks expected to return.

  10. Dorothea van Schie says

    Just finished baking them and couldn’t wait, they’re delish!!
    Although my foodprocessor is “dead” and I did it by hand, used a little too much cheese wich resulted in using a little more half and half the recipe turned out great!
    Thanks Alexandra!
    I don’t know if there will be any left for the kids when they come out of school this afternoon….:-)

  11. says

    I love that you made this dough from scratch (rather than using puff pastry or such) – and the addition of red pepper flakes is genius. My mouth is watering just looking at these…

    I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), so please let me know if you have any objections. It’s always a pleasure following your food…

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