Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ostestænger (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)

I joined some friends for a little get together last Sunday   And was trying to think of what I could bring/make/share. I really didn't want to run to town to get something special.    As it just so happened, I was looking through my copy of Danish Home Baking, by Karen Berg and found this recipe.   Simple, tasty and good.
Ostestænger  (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)

A lot of the recipes in this book assume a certain level of expertise. Most recipes are baked in a moderate, fast or slow, or hot oven.   I've had very little difficulty in translating moderate, fast and slow to degrees, but will add the recommended temperatures here.

Oven 400-425 degrees  (depends on your oven)
 Basic Recipe from the book   Cheese Straws (Ostestænger)  and Cheese Medallions (Ostemedaljer)
1 cup butter
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups grated cheese, mild
pinch of paprika
pinch of salt
1 egg for brushing

Mix the grated cheese with the flour, salt and paprika.   Work in the butter.

 Pat the dough into a rectangle and set aside to cool.   When cold, roll out to roughly 24 inches long by 5 inches wide.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Ostestænger  (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)

   Cut into approximately 50 straws.   Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake very pale golden.   On no account allow to get browned as they will then taste bitter.  
I also made a roll of the dough and cut circles from it, the dough was so tender, I had to keep adding flour, and I thought, gee, cheese crackers, hmm, that might be fun too.   And I was running out of time to get them all baked and into the oven before I had to be there
So, I formed the dough into a roll and then just cut slices from it, and flattened them out just a little with my French Rolling Pin.  
Ostestænger  (Cheese Straws) og Ostemedaljer (Cheese Medallions)
You can see the little bits of herb from the flavoured butter I used.   Do try this, it did add a lot to the flavour of the crackers.  In fact, next time I make them, I'm just going to add some fresh chopped garlic, parsley and whatever other herbs I have from the garden.   I'm thinking a touch of Rosemary would be awesome in these as well. 
My changes:
I used a 1/4 cup of this herbed butter from Kerrygold instead of 1/4 cup of regular butter.  I keep a cube of this on hand when I want a little oomph from my butter.   A little goes a long way.  I use it a lot of different ways. 

I also did not add any salt as I was already using salted butter.   I added a good 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne powder and the cheese I used was a colby-jack cheese.    I baked one pan at 350 degrees, but it was not hot enough, and so the next pan was baked at 425 degrees.    It took about 15 minutes, to bake, but I did check after 10 minutes.

I liked them, but when I make them again, and I will, I am going to add a little more flour, maybe a little water, and make them less of a pie crust like cracker.   I think they would be better if they were a little more like a crisp cracker.  

The feedback I got on these was positive, especially when they were crumbled into a bowl of home made baked beans.   I bet these would also be brilliant on some Chile or crumbled into a nice Tomato Soup as well. 
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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