Sunday, May 17

Healthy Snacks #1: CHEESE STRAWS

I'm trying to get back on the horse. These past month my children's diet has been less thanhealthily. Not that we eat perfectly, but prepackaged and take out have increased double.  I've bought more Lunchables than I care to say. Now I'm trying to find a bit of normalcy in my life and spend more time in the kitchen making our meals than buying them. 

This goes for snack foods too. No more Gripes or Little Debbie's. Back to the old recipes and a few new. This recipe is one that my two oldest love to see in their backpacks for school snacks. Light and very crispy. Made with real cheese and so much healthier than store bought cheese crackers. I like being able to pronounce the ingredients in my children's snacks. Pet peeve of mine. Not to say we are perfect...they have had their share of Ritz and Little Debbie's. But these will make you never want to buy a box of cheese crackers again! You can make them extra spicy or mild. Melt in your mouth texture with the perfect snap...great for toddlers, finger food for the big game, picnics, pair with a bowl of hot chili, tomato soup, or a packed lunch. If these replace the cookies in the jar, guarantee your crumb snatchers won't mind!

Cheese Straws

1/2 lb of grated extra shape Cheddar Cheese
1/4 lb of butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (less for children's snacks)
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
3 teaspoons hot water

In stand mixer cream Cheddar Cheese, butter and water until smooth. Add all dry ingredients. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Using a pastry bag and border tip, pipe out mixture to desired length and shape. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool and store in an air tight container. 

For a cracker shape, roll dough into a log and wrap with plastic wrap and freezer paper. Freeze, then slice thin before baking. 

Dough freezes well and perfect to keep on hand for unexpected  company.