Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cheese Sticks

I really like to cook and especially love to bake - so when I realized that it has been almost 8 months since I baked anything, I decided that something had to be done about it.  Not actually baking, mind you, it's way too hot for that!  Just something I've had on file for awhile - cheese sticks.

They're super easy and quick - and they always are a big hit when I serve them.

You just need some puff pastry, cheese (I like Romano - it's cheesy and salty), egg, water, salt & pepper.

Beat the egg in a bowl and add the water.  This will make an egg wash that the cheese will stick to.

Spread out your thawed (really important that it's thawed!) puff pastry dough on a non-stick sheet pan.

Cover it lightly with the egg wash.  You're going for "sticky", not "scrambled eggy" here.

Salt and pepper the dough.  You choice on how much.  I use more pepper since the cheese is salty.

Sprinkle generously with cheese, but leave enough space on there so it's not overcoated - we're not talking grilled cheese puff pastry!

That's about the right amount of cheese.  Don't worry about the little bits on the sheet pan, they'll come right off.

Cut the pastry into 1-inch strips.  I used a pizza cutter which makes it really easy, but a knife or kitchen shears work well also. (Notice that I'm not cutting on the sheet pan!)

Twist the cheese encrusted puff pastry and put it on the sheet pan.  (Notice how I've cleaned off all that excess cheese?)

Leave about an inch of space between the strips on the sheet pan - they do "puff" up a bit when you cook them.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees and pop the pan in.  They only take about 10-15 minutes to bake. You might want to keep an eye on them because they go from done and delicious to burnt and blech in a heartbeat.

Ta-da! Cheese sticks - they're crisp, cheesy with a bit of a pepper kick to them.  Give it a try - if you have central air conditioning, that is.

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