- 8 ounces (2 cups) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons water
- Jalapeno or other pepper jelly, for serving
- Place cheese, flour, cheese, chili powder, and cumin in the large bowl of a food processor. Using the metal blade, mix the ingredients together. Blend until well mixed and the cheese is finely chopped.
- Add butter and process until the cheese mixture looks like wet sand. Add egg yolks and water; process until dough starts to hold together. Watch the dough carefully and stop the machine as soon as the dough starts to clump together; it will look rough.
- Pinch a piece of dough together with your thumb and index finger; if the dough holds together, it’s ready. If it isn’t clumping or looks too dry and crumbly, sprinkle in a small amount of water and pulse 1 to 2 more times.
- Remove the dough from the machine and place on a clean work surface. Using your hands, form into a tight ball, then press into a rectangle. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or until well chilled.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line 3 half-sheet pans (or other large rimmed cookie sheets) with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft enough to roll.
- Roll dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut strips into pieces 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. Twist pieces 2 to 3 times and place 1/2 inch apart on prepared sheet pans. Push down to flatten ends (this will keep the straws from unraveling).
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. If not baking in a convection oven, rotate the pans after 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let straws cool completely on the pan.
- Serve with pepper jelly as a dipping sauce.
Make ahead: Dough can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Baked straws can be prepared, baked, cooled, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.