Sunday, May 6, 2012
You'd be hard pressed to attend a baby shower or bridal shower in the South and not find these melt in your mouth goodies on the table. I love to make these and serve them at cocktail parties. The cheesy heat goes well with a glass of wine. They also make wonderful gifts for neighbors during the holidays.
Often you see cheese rings referred to as cheese straws when cut into sticks, but in my family we shape them into circles. No matter what you call them, they are always scrumptious and terribly addictive!
1 lb. extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Beat the butter and cheese in a stand mixer. Add in the flour and cayenne. Mix until well blended. Fill a metal cookie press fitted with a star disk with the cheese dough. Press the dough through into long strips like this:
Cut the dough into 2-inch strips for straws or desired length and shape into circles for cheese rings. Carefully place cheese rings on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-14 minutes.
Makes 12 dozen cheese rings (depends on size of ring)
Cheese Ring Tips from my Mama and Grandmother:
Do NOT use pre-grated cheese! Freshly grate the cheddar cheese. Let it sit with the butter at room temperature for 2-3 hours for best blending.
Cracker Barrel Brand Extra Sharp Cheese is our preferred brand.
Do not use a plastic cookie press. It does not work well with this thick dough. A metal press works best. I found my Mirro Cookie Press on ebay.