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Jo’s Cheese Cookies

Jo's Cheese Cookies

I don’t remember exactly when these cookies came into my life, but I’m finding it hard to remember a time without them. When my mom’s friend, Jo Keller, shared her recipe with her ages ago, it instantly became a regular in the Christmas cookie round-up at Mom & Dad’s house every year. It’s not Christmas without Jo’s Cheese Cookies. Now, I’m beginning to see these little gems making an appearance almost every time I go to my parents’ home for a visit.  Not that I’m complaining, but I almost expect to see presents and holiday lights when I eat one (or two or ten!)

A bit like cheese straws, but with a surprising crunchy bite. These savory treats get a mild, delayed kick from the cayenne. Add extra if you prefer a spicier punch – the recipe is pretty flexible in that area.  These are also *almost* as good with crushed corn flakes in place of the Rice Krispies, or a combination of both…whatever you have on hand.  Another twist is to add some crumbled bacon/bacon bits (the real kind, not imitation) and/or dried chives. Both are really good, but I still like the original recipe the best.These are also a yummy make-ahead treat for game day or any party.  We usually double the recipe, because not only to they disappear really fast, but they also freeze well.

Though I would never say this out loud, I’m pretty sure my sister makes these cookies better than I do. (shhhh!)   I hope you’ll try Jo’s Cheese Cookies.  Here’s how to make them.

Jo’s Cheese Cookies


  • 2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded and at room temperature)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Step 1
Cream together butter and cheese.
Step 2 Gradually add all other ingredients.
Step 3 Form into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (silpat or parchment is fine.)
Step 4
Press each with a fork using a crosshatch pattern, similar to peanut butter cookies.
Step 5
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Step 6 Store in an airtight container.

Many thanks to Ms. Jo who has no idea how many of these cheese cookies we’ve consumed over the decades. Now, just wait till you get a load of Cheryl’s Coconut Pound Cake and Patti’s AOPi Punch!  Stay tuned…