(Makes 30 straws)
1 1/2 cups (about 4 oz.) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt, and red pepper and process in five five-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.
On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8-X-10-inch rectangle that is 1/8 inch-thick. With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long, thin strips, 1/4 to 1/3 inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/4 inch between them. The dough will sag and may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned—just do your best. The straws can be any length, from two to 10 inches. Depending on the size of your cookie sheet, you may want to bake them in batches.
Bake the straws on the middle rack until the ends are barely browned, about for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.
Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days.