Most cheese straws are made with gobs of butter and cheese making them very rich. They’re likely to crumble a bit when you eat them (especially the puff pastry ones) and they’ll usually leave your fingers really greasy. Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws are quite different. They’re made with just two tablespoons of coconut oil instead of butter, and contain only a small amount of Parmesan cheese. The result is a clean tasting, crispy cheese straw that won’t crumble when you bite into it, leaving you free to hold a drink in the other hand! They’re the perfect gluten-free appetizer to set on the bar when you’re entertaining or to serve as an accompaniment to your favorite dip.
Rolling out the dough is the only tricky part of this recipe so I have two tips. First, roll between sheets of plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Second, if you have them, use rolling pin rings. Rolling pin rings are plastic or silicone rings that fit onto the ends of your rolling pin and help you roll out dough evenly and to a specified thickness. They come in a variety of sizes depending on the thickness of dough desired, and are available on-line and in cooking stores.
Once the dough is rolled out to the correct thickness, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and use a pizza wheel to cut ½ inch wide strips of dough. You can eye-ball it or place a ruler nearby to guide you with cutting strips of dough that are all about the same size. If you want each straw to have a whimsical shape (as pictured in the first and last photos) you can bend them, while they are laying flat on the baking sheets, by poking them gently from the side in a couple of spots.
There are very few gluten-free cheese straw products on the market. In fact, when I did a search on Amazon it turned up no results at all. Pretty surprising given the proliferation of gluten free products and the fact that Amazon sells such a vast array of grocery items. It’s even more surprising when you consider that cheese straws are one of the oldest, most classic cocktail snacks, with southern origins dating back to the 1800’s. I suspect this will change soon as more and more specialty food companies are adapting their recipes to produce gluten-free versions to meet the growing demand. In the meantime, if you’re looking for gluten-free cheese straws you’ll have to make your own and now you have a great recipe to do just that. Once you see how easy it is to make these Gluten-Free Spicy Cheese Straws, and how tasty they are, I seriously doubt you’ll buy gluten-free cheese straws when they finally hit the grocery store shelves. Cheers!
- 1 cup gluten-free, all purpose baking flour, plus more for dusting work surface (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
- ⅓ cup/2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons/2½ ounces hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the gluten-free baking flour, parmesan cheese, coconut oil, cayenne pepper, salt, and hot water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Once the dough comes together into a ball, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle and roll it out in between sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of about ¼ inch or slightly less. (Err on the side of rolling the dough thinner rather than thicker.) You should end up with a rectangle measuring approximately 11 x 7½ inches.
- Using a pizza wheel cut strips of dough ½ inch wide and place them on the baking sheets. If a whimsical shape is desired bend dough on the baking sheets by poking it gently with your finger in a couple of spots.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until they start to brown around the edges.
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