Parmesan Cheese Straws

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1/2 box Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed on the counter for 10 minutes
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, (or Asiago) about 1 cup
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

Place flour and coconut in food processor and process for 30 seconds and transfer to bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place the puff pastry on a sheet of parchment and sprinkle it with 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Place another sheet of parchment over the top and, using a rolling pin, press the cheese into the dough by gently rolling the pin back and forth. Without removing the parchment, carefully flip the dough over, cheese-side down. Remove the top layer of parchment and repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Measure the piece of dough and continue to roll it out to a 10 1/2-inch square, if necessary.

Remove the top sheet of parchment and, following the illustrations below, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into fourteen 3/4-inch-wide strips. Gently twist each strip of dough and then transfer it to the prepared baking sheets, spacing the strips about 1 inch apart.

To Store: Wrap each baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or transfer to the freezer for up to 1 month. (After the straws are completely frozen, about 4 hours, they can be transferred to a zipper-lock bag to save space in the freezer. Transfer back to a parchment-lined baking sheet before baking.)

To bake: Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 425 degrees. When the oven is ready, remove the baking sheets from the refrigerator or freezer, unwrap, and bake the straws until fully puffed and golden brown, 8 to 13 minutes, switching and rotating the trays halfway through the baking time. Let the straws cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. (The cheese straws, completely cooled, can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

– Recipe courtesy of Cook Like James


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