Day #5 of Holiday Appetizers: Parmesan, Gruyère & Thyme Cheese Straws

Savory, bite-sized snacks are probably my favorite things to munch on at cocktail parties. They're easy to grab, don't fill you up too much, pair fantastically with red wine or champagne (my drinks of choice), and are general crowd-pleasers. Case in point, my mini mac and cheese cups and Parmesan, Gruyère and thyme puff pastry twists. In the past, I've gone with store-bought versions of the twists from Trader Joe's but always found them to be too dry or have already broken into pieces in the box. So for our cocktail party I decided to make them from scratch. Looking back, I'm so glad I did. 

Parmesan, Gruyere and Thyme Puff Pastry Twists
Photo Courtesy of Food.com
The hardest part about this recipe is taking the time to defrost the puff pastry in the fridge. Aside from that, you grate some cheese, chop some thyme, throw some egg wash on the pastry, add the toppings, cut it into strips, twist onto a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. While the twists are baking, they fill your house with most delectable aroma of bubbling cheese and buttery pastry. It's absolutely fantastic and can be made one day ahead, just make sure to store them in an air-tight container.

Cheese Straws 
Recipe makes 22-24 long or 44-48 short straws
  • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm), defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board until it is 10- by 12-inches. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the surface of the pastry. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan, 1⁄2 cup of the Gruyère, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the thyme, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, and some pepper. With the rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the puff pastry. Cut each sheet crosswise with a floured knife or pizza wheel into 11 or 12 strips. Twist each strip and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Clockwise from top left: Gruyere cheese, Parmesan cheese, thyme, egg

Place thawed puff pastry on cutting board

Roll out puff pastry dough to approximately 10" by 12"

Brush puff pastry with egg wash

Sprinkle cheeses and thyme on puff pastry sheet, gently pressing down with rolling pin to make sure toppings stay put

Cut into thin strips of desired length with a pizza cutter (hint: longer strips are easier to twist and keep their "twist" shape better while baking)

Twist strips and place on parchment-lined baking sheet
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Don't over bake or the cheese will burn. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Bake twists until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes

Place in your favorite serving bowl and enjoy!

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