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Cheese Straws and Spiced Nuts

“I created the cheese straws one day in the kitchen when I was looking for a way to use up some extra cheese we had from a big banquet the night before. The nuts I first enjoyed many years ago at someone’s home in Boston, and the hostess was kind enough to tell me how she made them. The cheese straws and spiced nuts are both big hits at cocktail hour.”

–Bea Tollman,
Celebrity Chef & Founder of Red Carnation Hotels

Cheese Straws and Spiced Nut

Cheese Straws:


  • 1 sheet of store-bought frozen puff pastry
  • 3/4 cup (100 g) strong cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Lightly unroll and smooth out the puff pastry on a floured board, and then sprinkle with all of the ingredients.
  2. Lightly roll the puff pastry up again to compress the coating, and then press and fold the roll in on itself lengthwise (like closing a book).
  3. Cut the pastry with a sharp straight-edged knife into 1/2 inch (1-cm) strips, then give each strip a twist. Place the straws on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Place the tray in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  5. Bake the straws in a heated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes to a pale golden brown.
  6. Cool on a baking rack before serving

Spiced Nuts:


  • 1 egg white
  • 1 lb (500 g) pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 g) salt
  • 2 tsp (10 g) ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp (4 g) ground ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 g) ground coriander


  1. Whisk the egg white with a tablespoon of water until foamy, then coat the nuts with the egg mixture. Mix the sugar and spices in a bag, add nuts and shake to coat evenly.
  2. Bake at 250°F (125°C) for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200°F (100°C) and bake until crunchy.

    Serves 4

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