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Preparing for Hibernation

December 7, 2009

Baby, it’s cold outside. The weather in the Carolinas has been unseasonably frigid these past few days. I’m ready to hightail it to the Carribean stat. Yes, Alonso, I’ll have the Strawberry Piña Colada. Keep ‘em comin’!

The Holiday season gives the cold somewhat of a reprieve. The gift giving, eating, drinking, cooking, parties, family time, eating and mingling lifts my spirits. However, upon January 2, death becomes me. I loathe January and February. Call me a bear and put me into hibernation.  

In preparation for my hibernation, I made spicy cheese straws. Because you can’t crawl into a cave for two months without the comfort of some cheese. These spicy little doodads will keep you warm on a cold winter’s night. They will be your big spoon while you’re the little one. They will hold hands with you in a field of poppies frolicking to Barry Manilow. They are your Dylan, and you are their Brenda Kelly.

Adapted from Southern Living’s Cheese Straw recipe, I serve these like an Ultimate Fighting Champion … with an extra kick.

Spicy Cheese Straws

  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter (cut into 4 pieces, softened)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of half and half
  • 1 tablespoon of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first five ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles course crumbles. Add half and half and hot sauce while pulsing. Process until dough forms.

Using a cookie press and the wafer cut-out, place dough in cookie press. Line on cookie sheet about one inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until ends are slightly brown. Let it cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes afterwards.

Note: If you don’t have a cookie press, you can roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 1½ inch round cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake.

Pairs well with cocktails

Impress your guests with homemade cheese straws


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