One of life's simple culinary pleasures, cheddar cheese straws and wafers are as Southern as hominy grits, boiled peanuts, and sweet tea. According to culinary legend, the cheese straw/wafer came about as a way for Southerners to preserve cheese, as the famed humidity of the region was not kind to imported cheese prior to the days of refrigeration. Incorporating cheese into baked products such as this allowed Southerners to enjoy the flavor of cheese even during the most intense heat of the summer. These savory cookies are quite addicting and pair well with cocktails, beer, and wine, and make for a great bread or cracker alternative. Like proper cheese straws and wafers, this hamantasch version binds the least amount of flour possible into the most possible amount of butter and cheese to create one awesome savory triangular cookie. As cheese straws and wafers are often paired with pepper jelly, it's a "no-brainer" that red pepper jelly makes for an awesome filling for these delectable hamantaschen. Enjoy, y'all.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together cheese, butter, flour, Cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, egg, and salt in a large bowl until mixture forms a ball that lightly sticks together and pulls in all the flour. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour. Divide the dough in half and roll out each half, one at a time until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out hamantaschen with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Place the cut cookie dough rounds on a baking tray lined with baking paper and fill with a 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper jelly in the center. Fold the dough around the filling to form a triangular shape and pinch the corners to seal. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, turning half way through baking.
*Grated cheese implies small, fine pieces. Chilled, firm cheese is easiest to grate.