Cheese straws are a pretty big deal in the South. If there is a party, there are usually cheese straws among the party snacks. Whether it’s a baby shower, an engagement party, or afternoon tea or cocktails, there are always cheese straws. And especially around the holidays. They are pretty much essential.
I knew I wanted to recreate the classic southern cheese straw and make it gluten free. Obviously I couldn’t make cheese straws paleo, because they’re all about that butter and cheese. If you’ve never had cheese straws before they are basically like a savory cookie. Without the butter and cheese, they’re not going to be cheese straws.
That being said, these are definitely not a health food. Sorry, folks. However, that is not the purpose of the cheese straw. They’re meant to be a treat. So, that they are. Not healthy, per se, just gluten free and delicious. Enjoy in moderation. If you can. Which I never can. They’re super addictive!
Now for some cheese straw-making logistics: Make sure the pecans are really finely chopped since the dough will need to be piped through a pastry tip or a cookie press. To make it easy, I just blend the pecans up in my food processor. If you have a food processor, I highly recommend going that route to save some time. When piping the dough, I like to make the cheese straws about 3 inches (~8cm) long. The cheese straws are fairly fragile once baked, so if they are too large then they will be more likely to break. And lastly, after allowing the cheese straws to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and before you move them to the cooling rack, taste one and make sure they are crispy all the way through. If they are soft at all, put them back in the oven for a couple minutes to get nice and crispy.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 1 cup packed (150g) almond flour
- ½ cup (62g) arrowroot powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ cup (100g) very finely chopped pecans
- ½ cup (115g) salted butter, room temperature
- 8 oz (227g) grated cheddar cheese, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/177ºC. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, arrowroot powder, garlic powder, sea salt, cayenne, and pecans until evenly combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or using a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together room temperature butter and cheese on high until fairly smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed with a spatula. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium and slowly add in the flour mixture, one spoonful at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Once all of the flour mixture is added, mix for a few minutes on high to lighten the mixture a bit.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a wide star tip or a cookie press, pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Alternately, the dough can be rolled into balls and flattened into rounds for cheese wafers.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes until the edges just start to brown.
- Allow the cheese straws to cool for 5 minutes, then carefully move them to a cooling rack using a very thin spatula or your fingers.
- Once completely cooled, store in an air-tight container for up to a week, if they last that long!
How did yours turn out? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!