Flaky, crisp, and cheesy, these are simple to make, and rustic-pretty. Serve them to accompany soups or salads, or as an appetizer for a spring party.
½ cup freshly grated (finely) Parmesan cheese
½ cup finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon pepper One frozen puff pastry sheet (8 to 10 ounces), thawed
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. Combine the cheeses, sesame seeds, paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper in another small bowl.
Unroll the puff pastry on a lightly floured cutting board, long side toward you. Using a pastry brush, brush the top side with the egg. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Fold the bottom half of the dough over the cheese. Using a rolling pin, roll gently away from you to make the pastry layers stick together and to spread the dough into a 10- by 8-inch rectangle. Brush the top surface with the egg and sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixture.
Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the pastry vertically into twenty ½-inch-wide strips. Twist each about 4 times into spirals as you place it on a baking sheet, pressing the ends down to hold the strip in place. Position the strips at least 1 inch apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Use a spatula to remove the sticks from the baking sheet and serve warm or cool on a wire rack.
The unbaked cheese sticks can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Or, wrap them tightly in foil and freeze for up to 1 month; defrost before baking. These are best when served fresh from the oven but can be kept for up to 1 day in a tightly covered container at room temperature.
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