I like to put the butter in, cut into chunks, and process the butter into the flour, just until there are little pea-sized bites of butter/flour.
Add in your cheese, and mix until the dough comes together, into a smooth dough. If your dough is a little crumbly, add in a little bit of water, 1 tsp at a time. I had to add about 2 tsp of water to my dough to make it come together.
If you have a cookie press, get it ready for some fun! Put your dough into the canister, put the die in of your choice and press away! It really is that simple!
They don't have to be the same length, since they will all be the same width. I did these a couple of different ways, to give you an idea of how you can do this a couple of different ways. Here I started with the traditional "x" shaped die and pressed a few of those through the cookie press.
I also put these through a flat line die, for another look. If your dough breaks coming through the dough, no worries, just press it back together! This dough is really easy to work with!
It looks a little funny here, to have the different shapes, but just roll with it. Anyway, line your baking sheet with parchment paper and lay your straws out as you pipe them out. Cook them for about 13 minutes, and boom! You have amazing cheese straws! These don't spread, change shape, or brown at all. It is hard to tell a difference between the before and after of uncooked and cooked, but they are amazing. The cayenne pepper gives just a hint of kick, while the cheese flavor pairs well with the paprika. This really is a perfectly balanced recipe, and a constant on every table for every big occasion. Because they are so good and so easy to make, it's easy to see why! Everyone is so impressed when they hear these are homemade, but common...these took about 30 minutes, start to finish to make!