My oldest watched as I started to make these cheese straws and asked if I was obsessed with prosciutto. I've been using it alot lately. Actually, I love to work with both prosciutto and puffed pastry (especially the all butter version at Trader Joe’s). When I found myself with leftover prosciutto (after attempting my version of egg cups), I modified the basic cheese straw recipe to use the extra ham. These little twists have it all – buttery, flaky puff pastry wrapped around sweet salty prosciutto and creamy cheese. Best of all, cheese straws can be prepped in advance, then frozen until your neighbors stop by for a glass of wine on a Friday evening (not that that ever happens around here). After all, they only take about ten minutes to bake.
Makes 24 cheese straws. Inspired by Spicy Cumin Cheese Straws
- 4 ounces fontina cheese, finely shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- 4-5 slices of prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed for 20 minutes
- 1 egg
In a small bowl toss together cheese, rosemary and ground pepper. Mix egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Put both in refrigerator until ready to use. Line a rimmed sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment, wax paper or foil.
On a lightly floured surface roll out pastry into a 14- by 10-inch rectangle (have a ruler handy to measure). Be patient. I usually flip the dough several times to make sure it is not sticking to the board. You can use a little flour to prevent sticking or top the puff pastry with a piece of parchment paper to make it easier to roll. Roll dough from the center out to keep it an even thickness.
Brush the tops of strips with egg wash; sprinkle with pepper. Twist strips and arrange on baking sheets, pressing ends of the pastry onto the parchment to keep strips twisted. Freeze cheese straws on baking sheets 1 hour, or until frozen. At this point, you can either bake them or transfer the straws to a freezer bag. Do not thaw before cooking. Cheese straws may be prepared up to this point 1 month ahead.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Arrange half of cheese straws about 1 inch apart on each of two baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve cheese straws warm or at room temperature.
Trader Joe’s sells two squares of pastry per package. They don't always carry it and it is a real bargain. Buy a few packages if you have room in your freezer! If using both sheets, double the filling ingredients. Make sure the 2nd sheet stays cold while you roll out the first sheet of pastry. If it gets too warm, it will stick and be difficult to roll.