It’s not a party without traditional Southern cheese straws, and we made these extra special for the occasion with amazing additions such as nutty Manchego cheese and salty prosciutto. These Prosciutto-and-Manchego Cheese Straws will be a mainstay on your party menu after guests get a taste. One Test Kitchen professional said this rustic appetizer would be a hit with all ages. (Who doesn’t love a cheese straw, really?) A tip from the Test Kitchen: Defrost the dough in the refrigerator, not on the countertop, and it will be less sticky and easier to handle when cutting and twisting. These elevated cheese straws are worthy of being switched into the appetizer lineup in place of your traditional cheese straws this year. We love to serve them in a polished silver cup to really celebrate the occasion and ramp up the holiday presentation!
8-10 prosciutto or Serrano ham slices (about 5 oz.)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface, and roll out to a 10- x 16-inch rectangle. Brush pastry surface edge to edge with a small amount of beaten egg. Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup of the shredded Manchego cheese. Lay half of the prosciutto slices across lower half of pastry (along 10-inch side), overlapping slices slightly. Fold top portion of pastry over prosciutto with ends of the pastry meeting to form an 8- x 10-inch rectangle. Repeat with second puff pastry sheet.
Cut each rectangle into 20 (1/2- x 8-inch) strips. Working with 1 strip at a time, use both hands to twist and form a spiral stick. Place on prepared baking sheets, pressing ends onto parchment to adhere. Brush with remaining egg wash; sprinkle with thyme.
Bake in preheated oven until cheese straws are puffed and golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes.