Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

4.73 from 11 votes
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Crispy puff pastry cheese straws are an easy snack or appetizer to serve at your next gathering. Create golden brown, crunchy crisps with just a handful of ingredients and a little effort.

puff pastry cheese straws on a serving platter

Add a fun element to your dinner table with these flaky and crisp cheese sticks! They are easy to grab as an appetizer, serve with dips, or on a cheeseboard. You’ll want to load up on a few. My family enjoys them as a savory side with a big plate of pasta or dunked into a hot bowl of soup or chili.

Using store-bought puff pastry makes for a convenient dough to cut, sprinkle, and bake. I share my tips for working with the frozen product to achieve a light and airy texture. I also use Italian-inspired ingredients to flavor the straws, but it’s straightforward to customize. It’s simple to prepare and delivers big on taste and presentation.

ingredients spread out on a table

Pastry selection

Puff pastry is unique because of the hundreds of layers of dough and fat (like butter) produced by a simple fold and roll technique. This process results in a light and flaky texture, ideal for the cheese straws. If you are a pastry aficionado, you can make it from scratch. But for a quicker option, I use frozen store-bought puff pastry sheets, like Pepperidge Farm.

Preparing the puff pastry

You can defrost the product overnight in the refrigerator or on your kitchen counter for about 40 minutes. The goal is to have a cool, firm, and pliable consistency. I use 9 x 9-inch square sheets that I roll into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. Use a little flour to help prevent sticking as needed. 

No matter what kind of pastry you use, shoot for about an ⅛-inch thickness. This amount prevents the dough from getting overly thick and puffed up as it bakes. You want the proper ratio of seasonings-to-pastry for the best taste.

brushing egg wash on a sheet of puff pastry

Brush on egg wash

To help the seasonings and cheese adhere to the pastry, brush on egg wash. It’s just a whole egg whisked with water to thin out the consistency. Make sure to save some for coating the twisted dough right before baking. It will help deepen the golden brown color and brown the surface of the stick.

Customize the seasonings

All you need is cheese, but I wanted to add an extra punch of flavor. I use a combination of sweet paprika for more profound color formation on the surface, plus dried Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. If you have fresh herbs, go ahead and chop those up instead. Onion or garlic powder are also lovely additions for earthier notes.

Cheese selection

I use aged grated parmesan cheese for its pleasant nutty taste. However, you could substitute asiago, pecorino romano, gouda, cheddar, or gruyere. The cheese won’t completely stick to the surface, so use the rolling pin to press it against the dough lightly. It’s ok if some fall off while twisting.

Shaping the straws

The key to keeping the puff pastry full of tall layers is to cut straight down into the dough. Do not use a sawing motion. If you press the layers together too much, it will make them harder to separate. You want a light and flaky texture, not dense. 

Use a chef’s knife or pizza cutter to slice the pastry into ¾-inch thick strips that are 10-inches long. Feel free to make shorter pieces or even skinnier slices. Twist each strip so that some of the cheese is exposed. Don’t forget to brush the surface with egg wash to make them golden brown and glossy.

freshly baked cheese straws on a sheet pan

Baking temperature and time

A high of 375-degrees kickstarts the baking process. The cheese straws rise and grow about four times the size. It’s impressive! There isn’t much moisture in the pastry, so the surface will turn golden brown and crispy once the steam is released and evaporated.

Make-ahead tips 

  • Refrigerate unbaked sticks covered for up to 3 days, then bake. 
  • Freeze unbaked sticks for up to 1 month, then defrost them in the refrigerator or on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Store baked sticks in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer after letting them cool completely. Reheat in a 350-degree oven until warm and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve this with

close up a cheese straw showing the seasonings

FAQ

How do you keep cheese straws crispy?

Make sure to bake until the pieces are golden brown and light in weight, which indicates that most of the moisture in the dough has evaporated. Let the cheese cool down a bit before eating, as it will harden for a crispier texture. After storing, warm it in an oven at 350-degrees for about 5 minutes to regain its crisp texture.

Can homemade cheese straws be frozen?

Yes! They can be frozen unbaked after twisting and defrosted before using. Alternatively, fully baked and cooled down, then reheated. The latter is an excellent option because you can warm it later at 350-degrees until crispy for a quick appetizer.

Should you keep cheese straws in the fridge?

After baking, refrigerate them because they contain dairy products that could spoil if left at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

four cheese sticks placed in a glass jar

The key to light and airy cheese sticks

Work with chilled dough so that the fat doesn’t melt, causing the layers to fuse together and become dense. When slicing the strips, use a straight motion. No sawing, or it will destroy the layers. The puff pastry sheet doesn’t look extraordinary, but what you don’t see is the hundreds of layers underneath. The steam in the dough will leave the pastry and create visible, separate paper-thin sheets when it bakes. This yields a delicate and flaky texture.

Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

Serve up crispy and flaky cheese straws made using puff pastry for a tasty snack or hors d’oeuvre at your next gathering.
4.73 from 11 votes
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 puff pastry sheet, defrosted if frozen
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 375ºF (190ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
  • Thaw the puff pastry overnight in the fridge. Alternatively, you can thaw it on the counter. Remove the frozen pastry from its packaging and defrost it on a sheet tray until it is cool but pliable, about 40 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water, set aside.
  • Place defrosted puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. If the surface feels sticky, lightly dust with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out into a 12×10-inch rectangle or about ⅛-inch thick.
  • Brush the surface with the egg wash. Evenly sprinkle the spice mixture and parmesan cheese on top. Use a rolling pin to press the toppings into the dough gently.
  • Use a chef’s knife or pizza cutter to make 10-inch long strips, about ¾-inch wide. It should yield 12 strips.
  • Twist each strip, then lay on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, at least 1-inch apart. There should be six per sheet. Brush the surface of each piece with egg wash.
  • Bake until golden brown, puffy, and crisp, about 14 to 16 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tray. Serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, place in a large resealable bag or container for up to 1 month.
  • Reheating: Heat at 350ºF (177ºC) on a baking sheet until warm and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 12 servings
Calories 131kcal (7%)Carbohydrates 10g (3%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 9g (14%)Saturated Fat 3g (15%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 4mg (1%)Sodium 163mg (7%)Potassium 22mg (1%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 99IU (2%)Vitamin C 1mg (1%)Calcium 50mg (5%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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3 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Kathy B. says

    I made these as an accompaniment to homemade soup for a family gathering last weekend and they were a big hit. I left out the paprika though. The hardest part for me was “twisting” them to a nice shape but thankfully I had some help with that task! Will definitely make again.

  2. Cynthia Fletcher says

    Do you have a video on how to make them? I’ve never worked with puff pastry and am a little confused on how to twist them while keeping the filling inside.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I don’t have a video yet, but a great suggestion! I’ve found that holding both ends and carefully twisting in opposite directions at the same time helps. It’s ok is a little bit of the filling falls out.