Parmesan Cheese Straws with Rosemary

October 21, 2010 · 25 comments

filed in: Appetizers/Snacks,Bakery,Dairy,Vegetarian/Vegetarian Option

Parmesan Cheese Straws with Rosemary

For a native of the American South, I discovered cheese straws remarkably late in life. I was all of 18 years old when they were introduced to me, and it was love at first bite.

In the decades since then, the many wonderful attributes of cheese straws have made them one of my top go-to appetizers. They’re quick and easy to prepare. Their main ingredients — cheese, flour, and butter — are kitchen staples for many of us and always on hand in the fridge and pantry. They are ideal make-ahead appetizers. Baked and stored in an airtight container at room temperature, they retain their flavor and crispness for two to three days. In addition, cheese straw dough can be frozen for up to one month and baked when needed. Oh, and did I mention that they are delicious and the first thing to disappear on the party buffet table?

Although cheese straws are traditionally made with very sharp cheddar cheese, I have aimed for an Italian flavor twist in this recipe. Here parmesan cheese, fresh rosemary, and a touch of garlic lend a different flavor note to this much loved appetizer.


1/2 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter, chilled and sliced
1 small garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)


  1. Combine the flour, cheeses, butter, garlic, cayenne, mustard powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are blended to the consistency of coarse crumbs.
  2. Add the yogurt and balsamic vinegar. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Add the rosemary and pulse a couple more times until it is incorporated. Chill the dough, wrapped, for 30 minutes or more.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, cut to fit.
  4. On a sheet of parchment or wax paper, roll out the chilled dough to a level 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick rectangle of about 6 inches in width. Using a long knife, dipped in flour, cut the dough into thin strips, as shown in the above photo, and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool to room temperature on cake racks and serve. This recipe can be doubled.

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the urban baker November 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

i love cheese straws. i love a savory cheese cracker of almost any kind. these look delicious! i can’t wait to try them!


Deeba November 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

I made them Barbara, didn’t have Parmesan, used mature cheddar … LOVED them! Thank you for these beauties!


Barbara November 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Thanks for letting me know, Deeba. I’m glad they worked out for you!


Deeba @ PAB October 31, 2010 at 6:32 am

Oh Barbara..these are delicious good. I’m headed for my kitchen soon to make these. For some silly reason my rosemary is dying, so I’d better use the few leaves that are left! Was looking for a cheese straw recipe & remembered u had one. Mmmmm…


meaghan (the decorated cookie) October 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I believe I must make these. I love the look of your blog! The white space, the photos, the sleekness, the modern look to match the name. Wow. So glad to have visited!


blackbookkitchendiaries October 27, 2010 at 3:26 pm

this looks so pretty… and your pictures are just stunning..thank you for sharing.


Chef Bee October 27, 2010 at 1:04 am

I love cheese straws. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Your pictures are very helpful.


Barbara Bakes October 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm

How have I missed out on serving this quick, easy and fabulous appetizers to my guests. So glad you posted it.


Amanda October 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm

These look fabulous barbara! Your pictures are always so perfect!


Cookin' Canuck October 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The cayenne and dried mustard powder are fantastic additions. Cheese straws with a kick!


Delishhh October 23, 2010 at 1:47 am

Ohh these are awesome, have to make them for a dinner party.


Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog October 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Here are called “palitos de queso” and love them! Your version with rosemary and garlicky touch is gorgeous! I can be an addict of them quickly. Cheers, Gera


Angie October 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

I’ve still never had one, nor do I remember anyone speaking about them growing up. Your recipe looks amazing, I’ll have to try them.


Faith October 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Now this is a what you call a great fall treat! I love the combination of rosemary with parmesan cheese straw. Very creative gal! I need to make this soon.


A Canadian Foodie October 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Love how you do your photos and step by step. Just made something similar a couple of months ago. There is nothing like homemade cheese straws. I love them. Now I have a new recipe to try,
Thank you! Valerie


Barbara October 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I’m off like a shot to look through your archives. I’m something of a cheese straw-aholic, and I try to rein myself in, but your recipes are always so very special.


Mags October 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever had a cheese straw, but that’s about to change. Great looking recipe!


Barbara October 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm

They’re rich, no question about it, but they do go down well. They also work well as an extra bite to go along with a light veggie or salad dinner.


marla {family fresh cooking} October 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm

These cheese straws look wonderful – parmesan is great mixed with the sharp cheddar cheese. They play off each other well. Nice that the dough can be frozen and pulled out as needed. xo


Suzanne Collier October 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I’ve NEVER had a cheese straw before, but have always wanted to make some – I think homemade would be much better than store-bought! But isn’t that always the case. You have spurred me on to, once again, try something new. And as much as I love sharp cheddar, I’m going to have to go with your Italian version here. I think I’ll make some of these for this weekend. Barbara, you always teach me something new. And here I thought I was about as “southern” as one could be!


Barbara October 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I thought I was seriously late to the Southern cheese straw party at 18, but you’re … shall we say now a few years older? As always, you’re a dear.


Cookie October 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I love cheese straws and was actually gonna make your Blue Cheese Straws this weekend. Now I’m not sure if I wanna make these more!


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme October 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

You *know* this southern girl has a special fondness, indeed a weakness, for cheese straws. I do thoroughly enjoy the traditional sharp cheddar with a goodly amount of red pepper, but darned if your Italian version doesn’t sound like a winner! That combo of parm, rosemary and garlic is hard to beat!


Megan October 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

Ohhh, how I love me a cheese straw! And I like the different varieties that you have made. I still want to try your blue cheese straws. We need to have a party!


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