Cheese Straws

Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa 2004
Makes: 24  long straws or 48 short
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

1 box (2 sheets) of Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry (allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight)
flour for dusting
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Then begin with preparing your fresh thyme.  Start by taking your sprig of thyme and sliding your fingers down the stem.  The leaves will fall off in one clean and easy motion.  Then chop your thyme leaves and set aside.  Next, lightly flour your pastry mat and place one sheet of puff pastry in the center.  Unfold it and using a rolling pin, roll it out to 12x10 inches.  Careful not to roll your puff pastry too much because it's already about 8x10 inches when unfolded.  Next, beat your egg and water in a small dish and brush along the entire surface of puff pastry.  Evenly sprinkle the entire surface with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.  Then with 1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese.  Sprinkle with your prepared thyme.  Then finish with a sprinkling of 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few dashes of pepper.  With your rolling pin, gently roll over your dough so that the cheese and seasonings are pressed into the puff pastry.  With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 12 even strips about 3/4 inches in size.  Then twist each strip.  And pinch it to secure its shape.  Lay them on a well greased cookie sheet, with enough room in between each so that they are not touching.  Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.  While your first batch bakes, start on your second with the second sheet of puff pastry, repeating the same steps.  Serve your cheese straws in a decorative vase and enjoy!