- 160g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 100g fine golden polenta
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 100g butter, softened
- 250g finely grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp cream cheese poppy seeds, for
- sprinkling (optional)
- 2 baking sheets, greased and lined with baking
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.
Place the flour and polenta in a bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper. Beat one of the eggs and add to the flour mixture, along with the butter, three quarters of the cheddar cheese, the smoked paprika and the cream cheese. Mix together to form a soft dough using a stand mixer or whisk.
On a flour-dusted surface, roll out half of the dough using a rolling pin to a rectangle about 20 x 12cm in size. Cut it into 10 straws approximately 2cm wide and 12cm long. Carefully transfer the straws to the baking sheets using a spatula. Repeat with the remaining dough, adding a little water if it has dried out, to prevent it from cracking.
Beat the second egg, and brush over the tops of the straws using a pastry brush. Sprinkle over the chopped pecans and the reserved cheddar cheese. Add some poppy seeds, or use poppy seeds in place of the pecans, if you prefer. Season with salt, pepper and a little extra smoked paprika.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheets before serving. The straws are best eaten on the day they are made, although they will keep for up to two days in an airtight container.