Janeth’s Palitos de Queso or Colombian Cheese Sticks

Palitos de queso Colombian cheese sticks

Submitted by Janeth Palacio Barrera

When she makes these palitos de queso or Colombian cheese sticks, Janeth Palacio Barrera gets a little homesick. She lives in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, but for her, home will always be Medellín, Colombia, where she was born and grew up.

”When I was little, we helped my mother mix the dough, grate the cheese and roll them into braided cheese sticks,” says Janeth. “And of course, we helped eat the palitos, which were always calientes y llenos de amor”—piping hot and filled with love. “Mi mamá always served them as dessert for our family. They are easy and fun to bake.”

Now Janeth is the one teaching her kids how to make this traditional treat. ”I make them with my children in our Chicago home. My version is a bit healthier than the ones you will typically see if you go to Colombia. I bake, instead of fry my palitos. I hope you enjoy them!”

For more Colombian traditional dishes, try Janeth’s family-famous recipes, including patacones con hogao (plantain fritters with the country’s traditional, deeply loved tomato-garlic sauce), her mother’s flan de queso and whole fried mojarra fish, which Janeth remembers her mom making when they went to the beach on childhood vacations. Janeth loves passing on these recipes to her kids. Check out how Janeth and her daughter Luna, 7, make Colombian arepas with queso—just like the Madrigal family made in Encanto!—and these delicioso buñuelos.

Ready to Make Palitos de Queso, or Colombian Cheese Sticks?

Janeth’s Palitos de Queso or Colombian Cheese Sticks

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Janeth Palacio Barrera Cuisine: Colombian
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

35

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 2 eggs

  • 2 sticks 2 butter, plus 1 Tbsp to grease the baking tray

  • 1 cup 1 mozzarella cheese, grated

  • 2 3/4 cups 2 3/4 flour

  • 1 Tbsp 1 baking powder

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 milk

  • 2 Tbsp 2 parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 350°.
  • Separate one of the eggs. Set aside the egg white and use the yolk for something else or discard. Lightly beat the whole second egg. Set aside.
  • Shred the mozzarella cheese.
  • In a bowl, mix the grated cheese with the butter.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, the lightly beaten whole egg, milk and salt.
  • Mix together well and form into a ball. You’ll know the dough is ready when the masa is firm enough that it doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  • Let the ball of dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes to stiffen up.
  • Lightly flour your work surface. With a baking pin, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about ½ inch thick. Cut long thin strips of dough that are 6 to 8 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Take the two ends of each strip and gently twist in opposite directions, curling it into a swirly palito or stick.
  • Lay the palitos de queso on a lightly buttered baking tray. Brush them with the egg white.
  • Place the baking tray in a 350° preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until they turn golden.
  • Sprinkle a dusting of parmesan cheese over all the just-baked palitos. Eat hot!

Notes

  • Palitos de queso can be eaten as a mid-day snack, hors d’oeuvres or dessert.
  • It’s easier to grate mozzarella cheese if you first freeze it.
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