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SOUTHERN CHEESE SQUARES

SOUTHERN CHEESE SQUARES

Pretty, crisp, buttery homemade Southern cheese squares are an easy and tasty appetizer.  The same taste as the classic cheese straw, but made into a slice and bake roll.

A plate of Southern Cheese Squares - cheesy, buttery slice and bake savory shortbread crackers.

I like to serve these at most of my gatherings – especially for a Southern brunch or a Kentucky Derby brunch!  To complete the menu for brunch, I like to serve Classic Quiche Lorraine, Candied Bourbon Bacon, Easy Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches, Kentucky Hot Browns, Decadent Chocolate Bourbon Balls, and Classic Mint Juleps.

SOUTHERN CHEESE SQUARES

Cheese straws or squares are ubiquitous in the Deep South.  You’ll see plates of them served at baby and bridal showers, birthday parties, weddings, and cocktail parties.

They go wonderfully with wine, are lovely on a cheese platter, enhance the smokey flavor of bourbon, and make the best snack!

WHAT DO I NEED FOR THIS RECIPE

I think every Southern cook has his/her own recipe.  I like mine very flavorful, but not too spicy.  You can tailor the recipe to meet your family’s specific tastes.

  • Sharp cheddar cheese – buy a very good quality cheese and grate it yourself.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Dry mustard, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and Cayenne – all add to the savory flavor of the squares
  • Butter – cut into cubes for easier 
  • Cold water

A plate of Southern Cheese Squares - cheesy, buttery slice and bake savory shortbread crackers.

HOW DO I MAKE THESE SOUTHERN CHEESE SQUARES?

  1. Grate the cheddar cheese
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together
  3. Cream the butter and cheese together
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients and water
  5. Form into logs and chill
  6. Slice and bake

Surprisingly easy, right?

Print
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SOUTHERN CHEESE SQUARES


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen 1x

Description

Pretty, crisp, buttery homemade Southern cheese squares are an easy and tasty appetizer.  The same taste as the classic cheese straw, but made into a slice and bake roll.


Ingredients

Scale

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoons dry mustard

⅛ teaspoon white pepper

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper

2 sticks salted butter, cut into cubes, softened slightly

2 tablespoons cold water


Instructions

Grate the cheddar cheese onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Set aside

Add the flour, dry mustard, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne into a large bowl.  Use a fork to combine.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the shredded cheese and butter together on low speed until well blended.

Gradually beat in the flour, a little at a time, until fully combined.

Drizzle in the water and allow the mixer to beat the mixture for 1 minute.  The dough should look like playdoh.

Dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface.

With your hands, knead the dough lightly for a minute.

Divide the dough into two parts.

Roll each dough piece into a log that is 2-inches wide.  

Roll the log in plastic wrap and flatten each side so that you have a square.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 3 days in advance.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.

Cut each log into ¼-inch slices and place on the prepared baking sheet.  They don’t spread very much, so you can place them fairly close together.

Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 15 minutes or until the squares are golden brown and crisp.

Allow them to cool slightly and then transfer the squares to a rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

  • Category: Starters - Appetizers
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: Southern cheese squares, cheese straws, Southern food, appetizers, homemade crackers, savory shortbread, cheddar cheese, slice and bake

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