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Grgich Hills Estate | Napa Valley

Tatjana’s Croatian Cheese Sticks

recipes | Appetizers | serves About 72 pieces

This is one of our most beloved family treats, made by Violet Grgich’s mother, Tatjana.


3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

8 ounces Danish fontina cheese, coarsely shredded (about 3 ¹⁄³ cups)

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon milk (low-fat is okay), divided

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)


About 20 minutes preparation time, plus about 35 minutes cook time

Pairs Well With
Chardonnay, Napa Valley

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces. Add the fontina cheese and pulse a few times to incorporate it. Add the eggs and process until the dough forms into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough together and divide it in half. Roll out one half of the dough into a long rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough lengthwise into 5⁄8-inch strips, then cut the strips into 4- or 5-inch lengths. Trim off any shaggy edges. Brush the strips with 1 ½ teaspoons of the milk and sprinkle on 1 ounce of the Parmesan cheese. Use a spatula to transfer the strips to one of the prepared baking sheets, arranging them about ½-inch apart. Bake until the cheese is golden brown, 17 to 19 minutes.

Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining dough, milk, and Parmesan cheese, arranging the strips onto the other prepared baking sheet.

Transfer first batch of cheese sticks to a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, bake the second batch.

Serve the cheese sticks warm or room temperature.

Adapted for the home chef by Jill Silverman Hough


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