Sunday, July 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Cheese Twists

I haven’t yet met any Indonesian who doesn't love crispy snacks.

We have many arrays of crispy snacks. Cheese sticks are one of the most famous snacks and has a gazillion of fans. Having said that, I am not so fond of cheese sticks. I rarely find a bag of cheese sticks that are cheesy enough to please my palate. To make the matter worse, they’re deep fried. It’s just something that spells doom to my tonsil’s well being. I can’t tolerate too much fried food. That’s why when PMS kicks in, I’m so walking the thin line between tonsillitis and bliss, courtesy of all those chips and whatever cousins they have. But still, never cheese sticks.

What makes crispy snacks so irresistible anyway? The very act of grinding the crispy food between our teeth and the crunchy sound it makes creates a certain happy sensation. I haven’t thought much about it before and I haven’t had a chance to read any scientific journals about the relation of snacking and limbic system in our brain. Surely if one of hypothalamus’ jobs is to control hunger, why is it quite difficult to stop snacking when we’re actually already full?

But that’s my homework and I shall not bother you with anything scientific except the delicious smell that would be captured by your olfactory sense when these crispy, cheesy, savory sticks come out from your oven.                  

I found the recipe at and told myself that I just got to make this. All of the ingredients are in the pantry. I was about to make it when my daughter asked me whether she could have it with whole wheat flour instead. Brilliant! But not only that, my little cheese loving helper also wanted to grate some gouda and put it into the batter. So what we had was a fun experiment resulting in healthy and utterly delicious crispy snacks.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup mature cheddar cheese
3 tbs grated gouda cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground chili pepper
3 tbs cold unsalted butter
1 egg white
a pinch of dried thyme
a pinch of dried rosemary

-If your cheddar is young, use more than 1/2 cup
-If you don't have the herbs, you can use whatever suitable herbs to be paired with cheese
-Gouda can be substituted with any other hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan

1. Preheat your oven to 200C
2. Mix the cheese and all the dry ingredients then toss the butter in.
3. Using your finger tips, mix the butter and flour until they resemble coarse meal.
4. Put the egg white in and knead just until it comes together.
5. Roll the dough thinly, not until filo thin though, between two sheets of silpats or baking papers
6. Cut into strips and twist.
7. Bake for 12 minutes.
8. Enjoy!

--The color won't change much after they're baked--


I think this is a great example of perfect savory snacks. It's fast to make and it doesn't require you spending time washing dirty dishes and pans. How cool is that? Plus, it's very healthy and quite fulfilling. I don't see any reason why you would wait to make this. I know I can see these cheese twist as a regular in our house or just about whenever I need to unwind watching late night shows after a long day.

Happy Baking,

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