My Cheesy Experiment (Take 1)

For all y’all from the South I don’t have to explain what a cheese straw is.

For all you sadly deprived ‘other people’ here’s the deal:

It’s like a crunchy, sandy, cayenne pepper-y, sharp cheddar cheesy…um…uh…I mean…it’s not a biscuit, cookie, cracker it’s a….cheese straw. Confused? Intrigued? I bet you are.

Wanna try one?

I BET YOU DO!

I mean…these things are more addicting (addictive?) than Cheez-Its (and we ALL know how addicting [addictive?] those things are) and I’ve got big plans for ‘em. I plan on hooking all of New York on my oooo so tasty cheese straws. Yes! Anyone and everyone will soon be able to buy these on my website and have his/her own baggie of Laura O baked goodness.
The website is in the works as we speak and (as you’ll see below) the recipe is SERIOUSLY in the works.

It’s SO in the works that I’m not even gonna write the recipe for you… Cause the it was a big ole failure. The texture was COMPLETELY WRONG. And that’s half the fun of eating the cheesy straws. BUT the flavor was pretty good…at least when I tried extruding them in the cookie press and sliced them into wafers.

EXTRUDE

i just love that word…anyway…

But I tried rolling the dough into balls and baking them, too. When they were just out of the oven they were tasty but…after they’d cooled they were gnarly. Just a mess of cold cheesy blech-ness. No bueno.

So it’s with a whole lotta humility that I present you the first in (HOPEFULLY) a set of 2 episodes on Cheese Straws.




Eat More Tassies!

First, let me apologize for the lack of pictures and/or video.

Second,

DOLLOP OF DIXIE MADE HER FIRST SALE!!!!!

Maybe it’s silly and over-excited to be be so…EXCITED…but when your goal is to sell stuff and you finally DO sell stuff…it’s just very encouraging.

Honestly it was a weird feeling to get paid. I almost felt guilty. Like, ‘No sweetheart! These are on me!’ almost escaped my mouth. Was that because I’ve just always given away my tasty treats or because I’m just too damn ‘naaaaaahce’ for my little southern girl good? We could spend an hour analyzing that, but I think another couple orders and another couple months of unemployment will fix the whole ‘guilt’ thing.

‘So what did they order, Laura?’

So glad you asked!
He ordered a dozen pecan tassies (2 bite pecan pies) for $15 ( a steal don’t you think? )

It gave me a nice excuse to pay Bed Bath and Beyond a tempting visit. I mean…can YOU walk into a Bed Bath and Beyond and NOT impulse buy? No. No you can’t. When I began, I needed a non-stick mini muffin pan. When I finished, I had a mini muffin pan, a complete set of pastry bags and tips, a fabric shower curtain, and 4 champagne flutes (CLEARANCE!!!!). It was thrilling.

I went home and started baking the tassies. Here’s the recipe:

cream cheese crust:
3 ounces room temp cream cheese
1 stick not exactly room temp butter
1 cup flour (whole wheat flour works well!)

mix with a potato masher, forks, fingers, whatever you got, til it forms a dough. roll into balls just smaller than an even Tablespoon and refrigerate for about an hour.

pecan filling:
2/3 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar (i used dark brown but light brown works nicely, too)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
dash of salt
1 Tablespoon room temp. butter

mix. seriously. that’s it. mix.
pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
With your fingers, pat the dough balls into the sides/bottom of the mini muffin tin (no greasing necessary). Fill with 1/2 tablespoon or so of the filling. Try not to over-fill but if you do…whatever.
Bake for 20-25 mins and enjoy!

Lucky for me (and some friends) the recipe yielded 19 mini pies. I boxed up a dozen for sale and took the remaining pies to a girlfriend’s apartment. The Joy of Baking, indeed.

I’m also very proud of Maren Flagg for making this ALL BY HERSELF! My little princess is learning domestic stuff! *tear*