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+ servings
Seeded Cheese Straws
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Chilling time
20 mins

These irresistibly delicious seeded cheese straws have it all: vivid color, unexpected flavor, buttery texture, and the nutty crunch of your favorite seeds. Mix and match flavors and seeds to create your own! Base cheese straw recipe adapted very slightly from The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook.

Recipe Type: Appetizer
Keyword: cheese straws, seeded cheese straws
Makes: 32 cheese straws
Author: Elizabeth Stark, base cheese straw recipe adapted from the Lee brothers
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, sliced
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces good cheddar, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
Nigella and Black Mustard Seed with Spicy Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
Sesame and Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Poppy Seed and Sesame with Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  1. Working ahead, lightly toast seeds in a small skillet over medium heat. Shaking often, toast just until seeds take on color, become fragrant, and start to pop. Remove from heat and let seeds cool.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine the butter, flour, cheddar, salt, and spices, just until mixture is uniformly crumbly. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon milk and pulse twice. Pinch mixture: if it holds together easily, it’s ready. If it still feels crumbly, add another ½ tablespoon of milk, pulsing once or twice.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide dough into 3 sections. Wrap each tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Dough can be made ahead and chilled for 3 days; set very cold dough on the counter for 20 minutes before rolling.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough sections into an 8 x 10-inch rectangle, about ⅛-inch thick. If dough cracks or breaks, just patch the holes with extra dough, pressing it in gently. As you work, use a floured bench scraper or large spatula to make sure dough isn’t sticking underneath. With a very sharp, floured knife, parallel to the short side of the dough, cut the straws into ⅓-inch wide strips.
  7. Gently press seeds into the dough and dust with spices.
  8. Working in batches with your bench scraper or spatula, lift straws onto the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake until the edges are golden, 12 - 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully remove to a rack to cool completely. Cooled cheese straws keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.