Flaky Cheese Twists
- one generous pound (about 18 ounces) puff pastry, chilled and ready to roll
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon paprika, optional, for color
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Ready a baking sheet by lining with parchment, if you have it; otherwise, just get out a baking sheet, no need to grease it.
- Place the pastry on a well-floured work surface, and roll it into a 12″ x 24″ rectangle, about 1/8″ thick.
- Brush some of the beaten egg/water over the dough, saving the remainder for later.
- If you’re using the paprika and/or cayenne, mix with the grated cheese. Sprinkle the cheese over half the pastry (12″ x 12″ piece of pastry).
- Fold the dough without filling atop the piece with filling, to make a 12″ square.
- Gently roll till the two halves stick together; you’ll now have a rectangle about 12″ x 13″.
- Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise to make two rectangles, each 6″ x 13″.
- Cut each rectangle crosswise into 3/4″-wide strips; you’ll cut about 17 strips from each piece of dough, about 34 strips total.
- Pick up a dough strip and twist each end in opposite directions until the dough is a spiraled cylinder. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough strips, leaving about 3/4″ between them.
- Brush with the remaining egg wash. Sprinkle very lightly with salt, if desired.
- Bake the twists for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool slightly on a rack before serving.
Yield: about 34 cheese straws.