Uncork the wine, because party season is officially here! Today we're taking a recipe straight from the Southern hostess herself -- my great Aunt Bee. When she sent me her recipe for 3-Ingredient Cheese Straws appetizers, I instantly knew that the little bites would be a huge hit. With sharp cheddar cheese straws, creamy pimento cheese, and crunchy toasted pecans, they're a simple, easy combination of the South's finest foods!
My mom raised me with cheese straws, pimento cheese (her fave!), and pecans. But oh lawdy, I've never had them all together in one bite!
Let me tell you -- this is snacking at its best, and I can't think of a better finger food to pair with a glass of wine this season!
What are cheese straws?
For those of you unfamiliar with these Southern delicacies, let me explain! Cheese straws are traditional foods of both England and the Southern United States, where they are enjoyed as snacks or appetizers. The dough is made with butter, salt, flour, cheese and cayenne pepper, so the straws have a rich, slightly spicy bite. They can be prepared by slicing the dough into strips or by squeezing it through a cookie press. Variations use different types of cheese, spices and nuts.
How to make a Southern Cheese Straws Appetizer:
Since Aunt Bee is the queen of taking a few high-quality ingredients and turning them into a fancy-looking feast, you better believe that these are incredibly easy to assemble.
There's no baking necessary, so if you can spread cheese on a cracker, you're basically good to go!
Ingredients for Cheese Straws Appetizers:
- Prepared cheese straws (I used a box from the grocery store made by Geraldine's, but you can pick any brand that you love -- or even make your own using this recipe!)
- Prepared pimento cheese
- Toasted chopped pecans
You know what these cheese straws appetizers remind me of? Those round cheese balls that you often see on holiday spreads at this time of year, where the cream cheese mixture is rolled in a coating of chopped nuts. That's basically what's going on here, but they're much easier to assemble, and even easier to eat!
If you're holding a glass of wine, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with a giant cheese ball, spreading it on a cracker, or smearing cheese all over your fingers. These are poppable one-or-two-bite snacks that your guests can easily grab off of the tray.
First, spread about 1 teaspoon of pimento cheese on the flat side of a cheese straw. Place the pecans in a shallow bowl, and gently press the pimento cheese into the pecans. Repeat with the remaining straws and serve!
How to serve Cheese Straws:
This appetizer is best when served at room temperature. Pair them with a glass of wine or a Ginger Champagne Cocktail at a holiday party, or offer them with tea when you have friends visit in the afternoon.
Cook's Tips and Recipe Variations:
- You can make your own cheese straws from scratch (this is a great recipe), but that's not how Aunt Bee does it (so that's definitely not how I'm going to do it)! Store-bought straws work just as well here! These are the cheese straws that I can buy locally, so that's what I use. If your grocery store sells a different brand, then your straws may be a slightly different size (which just means that you'll use slightly more pimento cheese and pecans per bite).
- Use a mini prep food processor to quickly chop the nuts (you want them very fine so that they will easily stick on the pimento cheese).
- To prepare the cheese straws in advance, assemble as instructed, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours (or until ready to serve).
- The appetizers are best if enjoyed within 8 hours of assembling so that the straws and nuts don't get soggy. That said, leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Without the pimento cheese and pecans, homemade cheese straws will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1 week. You can also freeze baked cheese straws (without the pecans and pimento cheese topping) for up to 3 months.
- The recipe measurements are merely approximations, based on the products that I used. You can scale the ingredients up or down to accommodate the size of your party.
More easy appetizers that you might enjoy:
- Creamy Spinach Dip
- Slow Cooker Bourbon Barbecue Bites
- Easy Cranberry Brie Appetizers
- Easy Pizza Dip
- Aunt Bee's Cheesy Spinach Squares
Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Southern Cheese Straws Appetizers
- 16 prepared cheese straws
- 6 tablespoons prepared pimento cheese
- 3 teaspoons toasted pecans, finely chopped
- Spread 1 teaspoon of pimento cheese on the flat side of a cheese straw.
- Place pecans in a shallow bowl.
- Lightly press the pimento cheese into the pecans, and place on a serving tray.
- Repeat with remaining cheese straws.
- If prepping ahead, cover tray and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
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