The famous southern cheese straws recipe gets a keto makeover! Cheesy almond flour cheddar crisps in beautiful fun shapes make a delicious low carb appetizer. This post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery.
Hey there, hungry people! Looking for a delicious and savory low appetizer to serve at your holiday party? One that even the non-keto people will love? Mission accomplished.
Look no further than these keto cheese straws. Tender and crisp at the same time, they are going to disappear faster than pizza in a college dorm room. Trust me, they are a wee bit addictive, all that cheesy salty flavor. And boy, do they go perfectly with a cocktail or a glass of wine. Don’t ask me how I know that, I just do.
Really good sharp cheddar makes the best cheese straws
I have a long-standing affection for Cabot cheese and really do think it is the best cheddar on the planet. It’s less prevalent here on the West Coast than it is back in New England, but I still tell everyone about it any time the subject comes up.
And with me, the subject of cheese comes up with surprising frequency. I’m known to wax poetic on all the attributes of good cheddar. I’ve turned many a Portlander onto Cabot, even gifting some to my cheese-loving CrossFit coach. He was impressed!
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is so named for a reason. They truly are a cooperative, and 100% go back to the over 1000 family farms that make up this fabulous corporation.
And good news for the lactose- or gluten-intolerant, since Cabot cheddars are 100% free of both allergens.
This naturally aged cheddar is so good, so flavorful, it’s the perfect ingredient for these keto cheese straws.
How to make Keto Cheese Straws
This was not my first attempt at keto cheese straws. I had a failed attempt a few years ago, but when Cabot and I agreed to a holiday recipe post, I knew I wanted to try them again. They really are a classic holiday appetizer.
It took me a few tries to get this recipe right, but once I did, it was quite simple to make the straws. The trick is achieving dough that’s relatively stable, so it doesn’t spread or lose its shape in the oven, but that’s also soft enough to push through a piping bag or a cookie press. This is no small feat, working with alternative flours like almond flour and coconut flour.
So a few tips to make your keto cheese straw experience a successful one:
Room temperature ingredients are critical for softer dough. Cold ingredients will firm up the dough too much, making it harder to squeeze through the decorating tip.
But you actually want to grate the cheese and cube the butter when it’s cold, so that it’s firm enough to cut easily. Do this step when you first take them out of the fridge, then let them sit for an hour or so.
Use a good food processor to combine your ingredients. This helps to combine them very well, and break up the cheese even further for a more cohesive dough.
When piping the straws, be sure to use an open star-shaped tip. If it’s too closed, it will be very difficult to pipe the cheese straws properly.
- I used the 1M tip from Wilton but the Ateco #824 would work well too. Whatever you choose, make sure the prongs of the tip are not too close together, as the cheese can clog it up.
Keep the straws on the small side, about 3 inches long. They become too fragile when they are longer.
If you want to use a cookie press, that works well too. Some of them have star tips and you can make the regular straws. My press does not so I simply used it to make spritz-cookie style shapes. Just as tasty!
Silicone baking mats are best because they don’t pull up as easily when you’re piping. If you use parchment paper, you may want to grease the pan with a little oil to make the parchment stick so it doesn’t constantly come away from the pan as it sticks to the dough.
Sharp cheddar will give you the most flavor. I used the Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar to get a true burst of cheddar in my straws. You could vary it up, if you wish. Cabot has a great Pepper Jack as well. If you want a more orange color, try the Cabot Colby Jack instead. They have such an extensive line of wonderful cheeses, there’s something for everyone!
Keto Cheese Straws
- Preheat the oven to 300F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Place the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, xanthan gum, garlic powder, and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Scatter the pieces of butter and grated cheese overtop of the dry ingredients and then add the egg yolk. Pulse until well combined and the dough gathers itself into a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with an open star tip, and pipe the dough into 3 inch lines. They can be quite close together, as they don’t really spread. (You can also place the dough in a cookie press and create fun shapes).
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until just golden brown, then turn of the oven and let the straws sit inside 5 more minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t brown too much.
- Remove and let cool completely on the pan.