1 package (17.3 ounces) prepared frozen puff pastry (thawed in refrigerator)
1 egg white, whisked with 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika combined with
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups of one of the following:
finely shredded Extra Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar
or finely crumbled Wisconsin Blue Cheese
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line two cookie sheets or sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside. Remove one sheet of puff pastry from the box (keep the rest refrigerated) and place on a counter top. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, use a pastry brush and brush a light coating of egg white/water wash over the entire surface of the puff pastry. Sprinkle the surface lightly with some of the paprika/cayenne mixture; evenly distribute 1 cup of the cheese over the entire sheet of puff pastry. Lay a sheet of wax paper or foil over the cheese-covered sheet of pastry and with a rolling pin, gently roll the surface. This will press the cheese into the puff pastry. Using a ruler as a guide and a knife or pizza cutter, cut the cheese-covered puff pastry into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut them horizontally or vertically, depending on how long you would like the straws. After cutting the straws, pick up each strip of puff pastry and twist the ends several times. Lay the twisted strip on the parchment-covered cookie sheet and repeat with each strip, spacing them about 1-inch apart. When the sheet is filled, place it in the oven and bake straws 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Allow the straws to cool 10 minutes before removing from sheet. Finish cooling on racks. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry. Puff pastry straws can be frozen unbaked or baked. If frozen unbaked, bake them directly from the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. If frozen baked, crisp them in the oven for 5 minutes directly from the freezer.
Makes approximately 30 straws.