Flaky, golden and light, my cheese sticks require only 4 simple ingredients, and deliver big on cheesiness and crunch.
Crunchy Cheese Sticks
They are made using store bought puff pastry, parmesan cheese, a little butter and my surprise ingredient…crushed potato chips (crisps) for extra crunchiness. Puff pastry is made up of many layers of butter and dough which, as the name implies, puffs up during baking into lovely thin flaky layers. Achieving the same puffiness in the crunchy cheese sticks is dependant on having a sharp knife, and cutting down onto the pastry sheet, rather than by dragging the knife through, which will result in all those beautiful layers becoming stuck together. Have a look at photo 1 of my helper holding the knife. She will cut down onto the pastry, then lift the knife, cut down again until she has reached the other edge of the pastry sheet. It’s just a small tip that can make a big difference.
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Preparation Time: 20 – 30 minutes Cooking Time 15 minutes Makes: 36 crunchy cheese sticks
There’s no need for overthinking with my Crunchy Cheese Sticks; you can make them as thick or thin, long or short, and as cheesy and crunchy as you like. I use plain potato chips, but why not experiment with salt and vinegar chips or even sprinkling some paprika, garlic salt or any other herbs or spices you prefer.
- 3 puff pastry sheets (Note 1)
- 70 g (2 1/2 oz) melted butter
- 120 g (4 oz) potato chips (crisps) (Note 2)
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz) grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
- Place the crushed potato chips and grated parmesan in a small bowl and mix together. Set aside.
- Remove 3 pastry sheets from their packet. Do not remove the plastic which separates the sheets. Return the remainder of pastry sheets to the freezer.
- If you want to be really precise, use a small knife to lightly mark out 2 cm ( 3/4 inch) spacings on the opposite edges of the pastry. This will be your guide. Then use a larger knife to cut the pastry into strips. (See Photo 1).
- Brush the pastry sheet generously with melted butter. (See Photo 2). Sprinkle the crushed potato chips and parmesan on top of the pastry and gently press down. (See Photo 3).
- Cut out a sheet of cling film that is just a little larger than the pastry sheet and lay it on top of the pastry. Carefully lift the pastry sheet and flip it onto the reverse side. (See Photo 4). Remove the plastic sheet which separated the pastry sheets in the original packet. (See Photo 5).
- Repeat step 5.
- Carefully lift a strip of pastry, hold it at both ends and twist to make a spiral. Place on a tray and repeat until all the pastry has been used. (See Photo 6).
- Place the trays in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
- Cool on a rack before serving.
- Begin working with the pastry when it’s at a point where it is not frozen but still very cold. I find if l that starting marking out and cutting the strips while it hasn’t totally thawed out, it’s a whole lot easier to handle.
- The potato chips need to be fine or they won’t stick well to the pastry. I prefer to blitz my chips in a food processor. A mortar and pestle or plastic bag and rolling pin would work just as well.
My Crunchy Cheese Sticks are also a great way to get kids interested in cooking. Just keep your eye on the potato chips!