I think your dinner or cocktail guests will be mighty impressed with these super Impressive Herby Cheese Straw thingies. They’ll try to stop at one but they won’t be able to. So easy to make too! No big deal. But, yeah, they ARE a big deal. ‘Cause everyone loves cheesy herby baked thingies.
I’m not trying to imply your guests won’t be impressed with everything about your dinner party. Just throwing one is impressive enough these days. Who has time? It’s just that you’ve got to admit that these are mighty impressive straws of cheesy, herby baked stuff.
If you can impress this much with so little effort, why wouldn’t you? In fact, these are so impressive that they actually have “impressive” in their title. It doesn’t get any more real than that. Even though I had to put that word in the title myself.
Want to know something else?
I never used to serve appetizers. True that! I thought why serve appetizers and ruin everyone’s appetite for the main course? How silly. This just might be the best time to show off and let people know what you can do.
Its fun to be so, well, nonchalant about the whole thing. That is, if you can hold back your excitement at having made these.
“Oh, these? Yes, just something I whipped up a few minutes ago. Do you like them?”
They like them. They’re impressive. They’ve got cheese in them.
And like so many impressive treats and confections that come from the oven, these little lovelies came to me via the Joy the Baker blog. Its not that I didn’t know how to make these before Joy posted them. Its just that they never seemed so fun before she posted them. Whats up with that? Joy, that’s what. She can turn the world on with her smile.
You want to know something else?
I think I have a serious crush on her. No big deal. But yeah, it’s a big deal. She couldn’t know this but I first blog-met Joy in 2009. She made me blueberry muffins . Well, she didn’t really make me blueberry muffins. That would be weird on a first blog-date. When she posted banana bourbon bread pudding we were seriously blog-going-steady. For real. And we all know how much I like bourbon and banana .
You still wanna know something else?
I stood in line last weekend at her book signing! This is not the kind of thing I would usually do but, you know, this was JOY THE freakin’ BAKER. Joy is on a book tour for her new cookbook and I get a bit giddy when someone from Food Blog Land gets a book deal. I try to turn it out for that. That’s real. You go. I tried to act nonchalant but I couldn’t.
And OMG(!) there were a few hundred people there to see her! I guess a lot of people have a crush on her as well. We’ll just all have to share. While we wait, have a cheese straw.Yes. I made them. They were something I whipped up just a few minutes ago.
These are made with every baker’s secret ingredient: frozen puff pastry. If you don’t have any in your freezer you should go out and get some right away. Joy would want you to. With FPP you can turn just about anything into an appetizer or dessert at a moments notice Even a pizza ! Now THAT is impressive, no?
Impressive Herby Cheese Straw Thingies
This is what you will need:
- large egg, beaten
- few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold.
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- coarse ground black pepper
- coarse sea salt
This is how you make it:
- Preheat an oven to 375 F and center a rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat and set aside.
- Be sure you work with thawed but cold puff pastry. I like to thaw it overnight in the fridge but you can thaw on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Unfold puff pastry carefully on a lightly floured work surface and roll out only a little bit. The puff pastry should measure about 10×12-inches, no more!
- Whisk together egg, hot sauce, and a splash of water in a small bowl and brush the egg wash over the surface of the pastry. On top of this you will scatter cheese and herbs, coarse pepper, and a bit of salt. Get creative. If you don’t have thyme use something else? I like chives too but my cat eats them all. She really does.
- Use the rolling pin or your fingers to gently press the toppings into the puff pastry.
- Using a floured knife or pizza cutter, cut lengthwise into strips about 1/2-inch thick. . Hold each end of the pastry and carefully twist several times. place the twisted pastry on the prepared sheet, about 1-inch apart.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. You can take the baking cheese straws out halfway through baking and gently flip them. Probably a good idea if you are using parchment instead of a Silpat.
- Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before placing in a large glass to serve. These will last up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature but they are so impressive you probably won’t have any left over. Save one for yourself to have with soup though.