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Smokey and the Bacon Cheese Straws

By: The Whole Hog Cookbook by Libbie Summers
This image courtesy of LibbieSummers

There are two things that great appetizer recipes have to have - bacon and cheese! These smokey treats are made with smoked Gouda and Cheddar cheese with a hint of chili powder for a little zest. Great for a snack, make them for your guests or family any time of the week.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup smoked Gouda cheese, Finely shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 6 slices naturally hickory smoked bacon, cooked crisp, drained, and finely diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
     
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, salt, chipotle chile powder, and flour. Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until pea-size pieces of dough form (add 1 to 2 teaspoons ice water at this point if the mixture is too dry).
     
  3. Stir in the egg and bacon and form a dough ball. Divide the dough in half; wrap one half in plastic and refrigerate.
     
  4. Divide the unchilled dough portion into 12 pieces.
     
  5. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to roll each piece into a 10-inch-long straw. Place the straws on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
     
  6. While the first baking sheet is in the oven, remove the second portion of dough from the refrigerator and roll and bake an additional 12 straws. Let cool before serving.

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I really need to try making these. Cheese and bacon are a great combination and this would make up enough straws to satisfy me for a while. I love smoked gouda and the addition of this to the cheddar just makes my mouth water. I think I'd use some smoked cheddar in place of the regular cheddar to add to the flavor. Looking forward to trying these.

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