These cheese straw stars are a Christmas variation on a classic favourite. I like to make them with a bit of bite, but if you prefer a milder taste then either substitute the cayenne for paprika, or just leave it out.
- 200 g strong cheddar
- 50 g butter
- 100 g plain flour
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- really good pinch cayenne pepper (for a milder version substitute with paprika which gives them a lovely, subtle warmth)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tbs soft cheese
Put everything except the soft cheese in a food processor and whizz up until you have fine breadcrumbs. Add the soft cheese and pulse until the mixture comes together into a dough.
Turn out the dough, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge. You can bake them straight away, but they’ll spread more and lose their shape slightly if you do.
Once chilled, roll out the dough to 3-4mm thick. Stamp out as many star shapes as you can, re-rolling the dough each time. This is quite a dry dough, but don’t worry – it makes the finished stars quite flaky.
Bake at 180°C for about 8 minutes, depending on the size star cutter you have.
Once baked, cool on a wire rack. These will keep in an airtight tin for about a week.
P. S At Halloween I make them using my feet cookie cutters and call them cheesy feet!