Cheese Snacks You Make From Scratch

In our never ending search for snacks, the grocery store offers a mind boggling array of pretty packages, most of them announcing that they have finally, after all of these years, discovered that trans fats are bad for you. They want you to know that their offerings now have "No Trans Fats" and are made using Sunflower Oil or some such other 'healthy' alternative to the evil trans fats. They conveniently don't mention all of the other crap they put in there to give the stuff an unnatural shelf life.

You can and should take control of what you make available to yourself and your family when it comes to food choices. I know it isn't the easiest thing to make changes in your habits, but if you take it one step at a time,you can do it.

It is very easy to choose a recipe, double it and freeze what you don't serve to use later. You will have one clean-up and something on hand in the freezer when you need it. If you are making something like potato chips, you can put them in an air-tight container or a resealable plastic bag to keep for a week or vacuum seal them in a container to keep for two to three weeks.

When your family screams for junk food pull a batch of cheese straws from the freezer and bake them. You won't have to worry about what to do with the leftovers. They are easy to make and freeze beautifully. The following recipe will make a little over 100 cheese straws. Store in your choice of containers as listed above, or just bake as many as you think you'll need at one time and freeze the rest of the dough.


3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon Salt

3/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

3/4 Lb. Butter

1 Lb. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated

Sift flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Blend butter with dry ingredients using one of the following methods: a pastry blender, a food processor, or your hands. The mixture should look like small crumbs. Add the cheese and mix until the mixture forms a ball. This is the time to divide the mixture up into four equal balls. If you only need 25 to 30 cheese straws, use one of the balls and wrap the other three in plastic wrap and freeze them.

Roll the dough out on a pastry board in a square or rectangle to about 1/3 of an inch thick. Cut into strips 1/2 inch wide by 4 inches long. Put the cheese straws on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Watch them disappear!

Another way you can use this basic cheese dough is to use a small biscuit cutter to cut rounds instead of strips. Press a pecan in the center before baking.

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