Well, you can’t beat flakey pastry with smoked gouda, cream cheese & green chiles! I had trouble getting photos because my son kept eating them. He was a big help as a food critic, though. My first attempt wasn’t cheesy enough!
I deliberately made these pretty mild, though with all the cheese, liquid smoke, and spices, this snack definitely has robust flavor. Feel free to use medium or hot green chiles – this is the kind of recipe where it’s really a matter of preference.
I added strips of roasted red pepper to get a holiday “candy cane” look. Tastes great and has a colorful, festive look. I also tried adding strips of green chiles to get a green and a red spiral going. That was way too much. First, it didn’t look Christmasy because green chiles are the wrong type of green. Second, the more you add to each cheese straw, the thicker it gets and the longer it has to cook. Undercook them and they are doughy inside.
Use your imagination in decorating or fashioning these into shapes. I made some wreath shaped. You could cut them out with cookie cutters instead of making them into strips and twisting them. This is a great appetizer to make in a group, like decorating Christmas cookies. Send me photos if you do something creative with this!
- ½ of a 1 lb box of puff pastry (1 sheet) [I used Trader Joe's, also 17.3 oz Pepperidge Farm works]
- 1½ cups shredded Smoked Gouda cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup diced mild green chiles
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- ¼ cup melted butter
- optional: fire roasted red peppers, cut into ¼ inch strips, each about 2 to 3 inches long.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Roll out the sheet of puff pastry to 10" x 14", sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking. Cut in half lengthwise to make 2 rectangles, each 5" wide.
- Blend the cream cheese, garlic powder, pepper, liquid smoke, and green chiles. Stir in the shredded cheese and mix well. If too stiff to spread, microwave on low (or defrost) for a few minutes or until just soft enough to spread. Do not allow cheese to melt.
- Spread the cheese mixture on one pastry rectangle evenly. Place the other pastry rectangle on top (sandwiching the cheese mixture in the middle).
- Cut into ½" strips, each 5" long. Brush with melted butter and place strips butter side down on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- If using the red pepper strips, lay 2 pepper strips end to end on each pastry strip. Twist each strip into a spiral starting in the middle and working toward each end.
- Lightly brush each twisted strip with butter and bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned.