Baking| Cheddar Rosemary Cheese Straws & Chocolate Walnut Fudge … Diwali

“The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Cheese Straws, Chocolate Walnut Fudge

The past week was hectic, like being on a baking express! It was the festival of lights, Diwali, here in India, and I decided to bake something as gifts for everyone …. Did I say life became H E C T I C?

DiwaliDiwali is traditionally a festival where people exchange gifts, which include loads of Indian sweetmeats and nuts etc. This year, I gifted home made edibles to most of the near and dear ones … from Buttermilk Pound Cakes to Brownies. For snacks at home, here’s what I made… something savoury, and something sweet.

Cheddar Rosemary Cheese StrawsI loved these Parmesan Cheese Straws with Rosemary when I saw them at Barbara’s beautiful blog Modern Comfort Food. Each post is well written, the pictures gorgeous. Her recipes are simple, straightforward, and full of flavour. I especially loved the ease of these cheese straws where I ran everything in the bowl of the food processor, and voila … we had dough for the straws!

Cheddar Rosemary Cheese StrawsI didn’t even need to chill the dough as it came together beautifully, smooth and easy to roll. I think I might have browned the cheese straws a little extra, or maybe they have a darker hue as compared to the ones on Barbara’s blog, as I used extra cayenne pepper, and additional red chili flakes. The yogurt dip and balsamic vinegar added a tangy twist to the straws, making them very very addictive.

Cheddar Cheese Rosemary StrawsI had to hide them from the kids to stop them being wolfed down. That’s how good they were. They can be made in advance, and the recipe can easily be doubled {which I think is a better idea because they do disappear too soon}! I didn’t realise that they were meant to be straight. I just noticed this when I went across to get the link from Barbara’s blog… anyhow, I gave them all a good twist!

Cheddar Rosemary Cheese StrawsCheddar Rosemary Cheese Straws
Adapted minimally from Modern Comfort Food
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 cup extra sharp mature cheddar, grated
1/4 cup butter, frozen, grated
2 small garlic clove, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yogurt {I used some yogurt dip}
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp roasted red chili flakes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary {or 1/2 teaspoon dried}
Combine the flour, cheese, butter, garlic, cayenne, red chili flakes, rosemary and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are blended to the consistency of coarse crumbs.
Add the yogurt dip/yogurt and balsamic vinegar. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Chill the dough, wrapped, for 30 minutes or more.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, cut to fit.
On a sheet of parchment or wax paper, roll out the chilled dough to a level 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick rectangle of about 6 inches in width. Using a long knife, dipped in flour, cut the dough into thin strips, as shown in the above photo, and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool to room temperature on cake racks and serve. This recipe can be doubled.


Diwali Last year I had made savoury and sweet too… these spicy baked chickpeas from Cathy’s blog, and Rasmalai, an Indian dessert where I used ricotta. This year the time just flew by as I’ve had a busy month, so for sweet I had to pick something express, something fuss free, yet something additive to the sweet tooth! How could I not turn back to chocolate fudge, a fudge with pistachios that my own little Goddess in the making had made a few years ago. Needless to say, times have changed … and how!

Rohan makes chocolate walnut fudgeThat Goddess today decided she was far too busy with her friends, so the Domestic God in the making was roped in. I made him stir and stir, the poor guy, but he was p a t i e n t! He did a great job, concentrated and stirred, while I quickly chopped the nuts on the side, and took a few shots! I had used pistachios the last time, so opted to use walnuts today. Holy yum is the word!

These are absolutely addictive little bites; keep them under lock and key if you know what I mean. The Domestic Goddess not in the making anymore reappeared magically to lick the bowls, spatulas and spoons clean once all the dirty work was done. Then she handed the lad a small scraping to taste, rather disdainfully! The good natured blighter that he is, declared “Condensed milk has never tasted this good before!!

Chocolate Walnut FudgeChocolate Walnut Fudge
Minimally adapted from recipe by Nigella Lawson
350gms dark chocolate / roughly broken up
1 can condensed milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup walnuts
Melt the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter, and salt in a heavy based pan on a low heat.
Put the nuts into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin, until broken up into both big and little pieces.
Add the nuts to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix.
Pour this mixture into a 9-inch square foil tray, smoothing the top.
Let the fudge cool and then refrigerate until set.
You can then cut into small pieces approximately 3/4 by 1 3/4 inches or cutting 8 by 8 lines in the tin to give 64 pieces.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

I want to thank two great foodies in India who made me feel very special by sending me these gorgeous gifts recently. Gifts from the ♥ that I was so touched to receive.

Thank you Kishi for this absolutely delicious Raspberry Bavarian Cream Cake, as well as a jar of cocoa nibs which is something I have longed to have in my larder. Kishi can be found at Foodaholics. Do check out her customised range of cakes etc for all occasions. She delivers across Delhi and the NCR!

Sugar Plum FairyAlso a big shout out to Mia in Goa, who blogs at Bright Morning Star, for a delicious bunch of goodies. Gourmet vanilla beans {lots of them; something I can never have enough of}, cookie cutters – fluted, snowflakes, Xmas trees! Also included in the box were Goan curry pastes and some delicious guava jelly. Mia has begun a BLOGGING BY MAIL BUDDY event for Indian Food Bloggers. Do check it out!

Don’t miss a post

Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 6 years ago

    I want to taste all these things, (including chickpeas you made last year). All looks amazing and of course your pictures are fab too. Off to gather ingredients.

  • 6 years ago

    Both the cheese straws and the fudge look irresistible! Your pictures are splendid.

    Happy Diwali!



  • Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective
    6 years ago

    Deeba, they both looks so good! But the fudge is amazing–so dense and glossy–I have to try that!

  • anushruti
    6 years ago

    Happy Diwali Deeba..I was planning to make these fudges too and will very soon. The pictures of your are are really sweet and one can make out that he is indeed very good natured!

  • 6 years ago

    Deeba- just wanted to say a very quick Diwali Mubarik. xx shayma

  • 6 years ago

    Can’t wait to try the cheese straws, Deeba!
    And really, any dessert that has condensed milk in it…..YUM!

  • 6 years ago

    That young man is soo handsome:) Lovely as always here..

  • 6 years ago

    heyy happy diwali to you and the fudge looks gorgeous, beautiful lights and decoration!

  • 6 years ago

    I love cook with condensed milk! and this fudge look wonderful! Lovely pictures! and your kid is soooo cute! gloria xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • 6 years ago

    Happy Diwali dear Deeba!! xoxoxox

  • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle
    6 years ago

    Oh now I’m really craving some cheese straws! I always make all of my holiday gifts; filling a basket with an assortment of homemade goodies; I just think it’s the most special way of giving to someone, something of yourself and you did an amazing job.

  • 6 years ago

    Happy Diwali Deeba! I like that you make a bit of sweet and savory every year ! I wish i was near you, so I could come and sample all these yummy stuff that i am drooling over now…

    P.S. I still haven’t been able to reach the vanilla guys 🙁 no answer on their phone…

    • 6 years ago

      Asha, thanks. You are a darling. Happy Diwali backatya! Wish you were close by too. Maybe you can get in tough with Mia, and she might be able to help. Else, lemme see if I have the guys card that came with the bag Mia sent me. It has an email address.

    • 6 years ago

      Hey again Asha, Found the card for the vanilla beans supplier. Joseph Sebastian/Ecospice/{Vanilla, Spices, Essential Oils}, , ctc 9868440163

  • 6 years ago

    Hello Deeba,
    Thanks for stopping by.Wishing u and ur family a Happy Diwali.
    Baking goodies for gifting near and dear ones is such an admirble idea.As usual u have gorgeous recipes and clicks. Those cheddar sticks are a grt snacking idea.

  • 6 years ago

    Great post! I especially love that your son is helping:) Reminds me so much of my own boy at that age…sigh. Time zooms by! Hugs to all!

  • Happy Diwali, dear Deeba! You sound as though you’ve been a regular cooking tornado this week. I hope you found the time to shake the flour off your hands, get out of the kitchen, and enjoy the festivities. Many thanks for your kind mention here and, PS, your cheese straws look WAY prettier than mine!

  • 6 years ago

    cheese straws sound really yummy:)

  • 6 years ago

    Wow, that’s a lot of goodies! The cheese straws sound fantastic esp with yoghurt!

  • 6 years ago

    as always, gorgeous photos, wonderful story and delicious treats. thank you for being you!

  • Your pictures wants me to give up my job and stay home cooking all day and taking pictures. Not that I’ll be any close to yours but you inspire!

    I wish i lived anywhere near to get my hand on those goodies;) Both the fudge and straws look amazing. But I have my heart on the fudge, after all a choc and walnut girl I’m. But then rosemary, cheddar….those my fav things too!

    Happy Diwali Deeba, have a great week and year ahead.


  • 6 years ago

    yummmm:) and amazing photography!!

  • 6 years ago

    All those goodies are fantastic and irresistible Hope you had a great Diwali Deeba 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Those cheese straws look delectable. yum!

  • Mia
    6 years ago

    Deeba, can i wonder aloud and tell u first that ur at the wrong place , at the moment ie:-)
    U should be at Master Chef gurl, ud win hands down !!!
    U come up with beauties and creativity galore!!
    Look at these cheese straws, they aont jus cheese straws, they have ur personal touch and i love that!

    Thannnxxx a ton for the shout out!!
    Am sooo looking forward to bloggn by mail ,round 1!

    Am so thrilled u loved the beans, they are the best ,evn ,almost better than my Madagascar ones ,and are absolutely flavorful!!

    Looking forward to lods of ur deliciousness and an absolutely festive season to ya!

  • Thanks for swinging by my blog earlier today. Love the two recipes you share with us here. Your son is awesome in the kitchen, bet he had tons of fun making & munching that fudge. I too am a big fan of Modern Comfort Food 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Lucky folks to receive these gifts from you! Cheese straws bookmarked along with the rest of the recipes on ur blog:-))

  • I can’t decide which I want to make more the Cheddar Rosemary Cheese Straws or the Chocolate Walnut Fudge!

  • 6 years ago

    I saw those cheese straws too and plan to make them for Thanksgiving. I like the twist you gave them!
    What nice goodies you received, Deeba. And such a grand idea to do the Blogging by mail in India

  • 6 years ago

    I am in lack of words seeing all the above pictures and I am totally loving it. Hope u all had wonderful and blasting Diwali.


  • 6 years ago

    Great foods and gift Deeba 🙂

    Happy Diwali to you and your family 🙂

  • diva
    6 years ago

    Do I sense a bit of disappointment in said domestic goddess?? BUT DEEBA MAMA..-squeal- >o< ur son is ADORABLE! and his hair is so silky. why am i envious? Happy belated Diwali. Shame I missed out on all the sweets but this post makes me feel like I might have experienced a bit of the baking madness in your home. Ps. hope your sis isn't breathing down your neck too much. love x

  • diva
    6 years ago

    Do I sense a bit of disappointment in said domestic goddess?? BUT DEEBA MAMA..-squeal- >o< ur son is ADORABLE! and his hair is so silky. why am i envious? Happy belated Diwali. Shame I missed out on all the sweets but this post makes me feel like I might have experienced a bit of the baking madness in your home. Ps. hope your sis isn't breathing down your neck too much. love x

  • 6 years ago

    Funny how they magically appear when bowls need licking. It sounds like a wonderful time to be in India. How nice to have your sister there with you to enjoy these fabulous treats.

  • 6 years ago

    Amazing! And I love seeing Son working in the kitchen with you and I seriously think you have a pastry chef in the making! And he’s a stunner, Deeba; you had better watch out! The girls are going to start hanging around….

    Love the bread sticks and will definitely try them (as I love bread baking) but that fudge! Yowzer! My kind of treat! Mmmmm. Gorgeous!

  • 6 years ago

    Everything looks gorgeous, and go Domestic God in the making! Happy belated Diwali.

  • 6 years ago

    Hi Deeba
    Congrats … u have won the giveaway at my blog. I have mailed u the details regarding it. Pl go thru it asap .

    – Smita
    @ Little Food Junction

  • 6 years ago

    Wish you a very happy diwali Deeba! Lots of love and happiness to you and your family! I was away on diwali for a couple days and it already feels like ages since I checked out such awesomeness!
    That’s a wonderful recipe and cheese straws are my li’l one’s favorite so gotta try with rosemary and coincidently I’m munching on some chocolate walnut fudge while writing here 🙂

  • Priyanka
    6 years ago

    Is that your son?

    He looks precious.


  • 6 years ago

    Belated here but Happy Diwlali my sweet and dear friend and what a treat you have here. Can i have some? Missing you!

  • vincent
    6 years ago


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  • 6 years ago

    Happy Diwali! And, great-looking treats. Your twisted cheese straws look delicious, and I’m trying to reach into the screen and grab a piece of fudge. It does look like a delicious use of condensed milk!

  • 6 years ago

    i love ur pictures! the colors and the pop of yellow is divine!

  • Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog
    6 years ago

    Outstanding these cheese-straws! I enjoyed at Barbara before and now at yours Deeba!

    Of course the chocolate walnut fudge of Nigella… well… you know…too much! Swoon!

    Happy Diwali 🙂

    All the best,


  • 6 years ago

    PAB is a visual treat for sore eyes. Love to be here for the sake of these gorgeous clicks and lovely recipes. Wishes and hugs to you Deeba, take care.

  • 6 years ago

    Happy belated Diwali Deeba!
    The cheese straws look sooo good!! Great pictures!

  • 6 years ago

    Dear Deeba come to see my Lemon Curd! xoxoxoxo and tell waht you think!

  • 6 years ago

    Hey Deeba,
    I made cookies as Diwali giveaways this year and found it to be crazy cottage industry like work. I am not sure the large scale baking is my deal but how can you not get carried away for Christmas or Diwali? You fudge looks like a good candidate for my baking giveaways on Christmas but was wondering if all the chocolate-condensed milk pairing made it too sweet… What did you think?

  • 6 years ago

    There you go tempting me again Deeba. Cheese straws…, they are now on my list of little nibblies to make for all this pre Christmas entertaining we’re doing or going to. Excellent idea.

  • 6 years ago

    Goodness, life may be hectic but what a beautiful blog post you’ve put together with something so simple… these straws look fabulous in all your wonderful pictures.

  • 6 years ago

    That fudge looks divine! And what a cute kidlet, too!

  • Happy Diwali, D! I’ve been baking for Diwali gifting over the past 3 years. I only make one thing each year, and it still gets crazy. I’m amazed at how much you managed to do! Ofcourse, getting your son to help was genius 🙂

  • 3 years ago

    I want to taste it all. So tempting.

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