Belle's Star-Spangled Cheese Straws

Belle’s Star-Spangled Cheese Straws


Twentieth century foodie, gourmand and all around good cook, James Beard declared that “picnicking is one of the supreme pleasures of outdoor life." Indeed. No other dining experience seems quite so decadent. The fresh air, the natural setting, the creative food choices, the deliciously idle intentions. Picnics have a wonderful way of engaging all of our senses in such a fantastic way. It’s almost overwhelming.

Here are the recipes I would like to share with you for a Great American Picnic.

Belle’s Star-Spangled Cheese Straws

(from the Huntsville Heritage Cookbook, 1967 Edition)


  • 1 lb. New York State sharp cheese (or any sharp cheddar), grated
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • smoked paprika for garnish


  1. Leave both the cheese and the butter out overnight on the counter to soften.
  2. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together (except the smoked paprika) in a medium bowl by hand.
  4. Knead the dough until it turns into a consistency like play-doh.
  5. Form into a ball shape.
  6. On a lightly floured pastry cloth, roll the dough out firmly to 1/4 inch thickness with a wooden rolling pin.
  7. By pressing it into the cloth with the rolling pin, you’ll be able to smooth out any crumbly or wrinkly areas as you work.
  8. Using a small star shaped cookie cutter, cut out the stars and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden in color.
  10. Let stars cool on a rack and dust with smoked paprika just before serving.

Get All of The Recipes for the Vintage Picnic

Katherine Stolz Barber

Katherine is the chief storyteller and curator of the culinary history blog and shop In The Vintage Kitchen. When she’s not busy digging through research archives or whipping up old recipes, you can find her scouting for vintage treasures and inspiring stories around the country with her husband, Bradley, and their insatiably hungry pup, Indie.

In the Vintage Kitchen.

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