These slender straws feature two aged cheeses, one made from cow’s milk and the other from sheep’s milk. The Parmesan is milder, but its distinctive deep flavor is unmistakable; the rustic pecorino adds a salty sharpness. These are perfect for holiday party snacks and gifts, or even as an accompaniment to soups and salads.
Pecorino and Parmesan Cheese Straws
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm.) pieces, plus more for greasing
5 oz. (155 g.) aged pecorino cheese, coarsely grated
5 oz. (155 g.) Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
In a food processor, combine the butter pieces, pecorino, Parmesan, and white and cayenne pepper and process until a smooth paste forms. Slowly add the flour while pulsing to blend. When all of the flour has been incorporated, remove the dough from the processor, shape into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly butter a rimmed baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time and keep the others covered. On a lightly floured work surface, using the palms of your hands, roll the dough back and forth over the work surface until it is a narrow cylinder about the diameter of a drinking straw. Cut into 6- to 8-inch (15- to 20-cm.) lengths. Place the lengths on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm.) apart. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Bake the cheese straws until they are golden brown and lightly crisp, 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then gently transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature. Or, let cool completely, transfer to a loosely closed paper bag, and store in a dry place at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes about 24 cheese straws.