RECIPES:
Jan 31, 2022

How To Make Cheese Twists

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
I love the lacy crisp cheese that melts out of the puff pastry as it cooks.

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Cheese twists, also called cheese straws or cheesy twists are made from puff pastry, and are baked, flakey, crisp sticks. These are so easy to make and one of my favorite party appetizers. Serve on their own as a snack paired with cocktails, wine, or beer or alongside a cheese board as you would breadsticks. While you really just need cheese and puff pastry, this version is spiced with cayenne and layered with cheddar cheese, chives, and sheets of puff pastry. 

How To Make Cheese Twists

How To Make Cheese Twists

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Puff pastry – Puff pastry can be made at home, though I prefer to use store-bought instead to cut down on prep time. It can be found in the freezer section of grocery stores, typically by pies and other desserts. Since it is frozen it is best to move the puff pastry package to the fridge to let it slowly thaw a day in advance. For a quicker thaw, I also recommend letting the puff pastry sit at room temperature for 1 hour. But if the dough is left out too long it can become too soft and the dough can easily tear. 
  • Cheddar cheese – I use sharp Cheddar when cooking. If you use mild or medium Cheddar the flavor will cook out and the recipe will be lacking in that cheesy flavor.
  • Chives – Fresh or dried chives can be used in this recipe interchangeably. 
  • Cayenne – Adding a bit of cayenne complements the sharp cheddar cheese and adds just the right kick to this appetizer. Feel free to omit if you don’t like spice, though it adds a nice flavor to the recipe. 

Instructions to Prepare the Cheese Twists

Unfold the puff pastry

Step 1: Unfold puff pastry

Unfold puff pastry sheets onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. If the puff pastry box comes with only 1 sheet, then cut it in half. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll the dough out, just enough to smooth any creases from the dough.

Layer egg wash and cheese

Step 2: Layer egg wash and cheese

In a small bowl whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Use a pastry brush to spread the egg wash over one sheet of puff pastry. Sprinkle half the cheese over the egg wash. Top with ½ the chives and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the other layer of puff pastry

Step 3: Add the other layer of puff pastry

Layer the second sheet of puff pastry over the top of the cheese and press gently to adhere the edges.

Repeat with egg wash and cheese

Step 4: Repeat with egg wash and cheese

Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle the remaining cheese, chives, and cayenne over the top. 

Lightly sprinkle the rolling pin with flour and then gently roll the rectangle of cheesy puff pastry out so it’s ¼” thick.  

Cut into strips - How To Make Cheese Twists

Step 5: Cut into strips

Cut the puff pastry into ½” thick strips. For shorter cheese twists, cut the strips in half crosswise.

Twist the strips

Step 6: Twist the strips

Working one strip at a time, carefully twist each strip several times. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place strips 1” apart on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips, working in batches if needed.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Variations on Cheese Twists

Parmesan & Garlic 

Swap the Cheddar cheese with 1½ cups of grated Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano). Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and omit the cayenne and chives. I like to add a bit more freshly ground pepper to this version over the cheese mixture, giving it flavors reminiscent of cacio e pepe.  

Gouda & Thyme 

Swap the Cheddar cheese with 1½ cups of shredded Gouda cheese. Swap the chives for 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme. Omit the cayenne.  

Gruyere 

Gruyere has such a rich, unique flavor – I like to serve it on its own in these puff pastry cheese straws. Swap the Cheddar cheese with 1½ cups shredded Gruyere cheese and omit the chives and cayenne. 

How To Make Cheese Twists

How to Prep the Cheese Twists Ahead of Time 

The puff pastry cheese straws can be made a day in advance though they are best made the day they are served. Make the recipe as directed below and store in an airtight container. To reheat, simply broil until crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out these other party appetizers:

How To Make Cheese Twists

How To Make Cheese Twists
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 28 cheese twists

Ingredients:

  • 1 (17.3 ounce) box puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed at room temperature
  • All-purpose flour, as needed, for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, divided
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • Unfold puff pastry sheets onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. If the puff pastry box comes with only 1 sheet, then cut it in half. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll the dough out, just enough to smooth any creases from the dough.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Use a pastry brush to spread the egg wash over one sheet of puff pastry. Sprinkle half the cheese over the egg wash. Top with ½ the chives and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Layer the second sheet of puff pastry over the top of the cheese and press gently to adhere the edges.
  • Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle the remaining cheese, chives, and cayenne over the top.
  • Lightly sprinkle the rolling pin with flour and then gently roll the rectangle of cheesy puff pastry out so it’s ¼” thick.
  • Cut the puff pastry into ½” thick strips. For shorter cheese twists, cut the strips in half crosswise (optional).
  • Working one strip at a time, carefully twist each strip several times. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place strips 1” apart on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips, working in batches if needed.
  • Cook until the twists are golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely and serve.

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