I used three cups of cheese instead of four, dropped my temp to 375 and baked for 10 minutes and they turned out perfect. Reducing the amount of cheese allowed the taste (not heat) of the red pepper to come out a little more. If you reduce the cheese you need to also reduce the temp and cook time or they will overcook.
TIP - use Cracker Barrel extra sharp and don't buy pre-shredded cheese. shred the cheese cold and allow the butter and cheese to come to room temp before you cream them. I used an electric mixer to cream the cheese and butter, but I mixed the dry ingredients in by hand. DON'T USE WATER. Mold the dough by hand for about 10 min and it will be ready to roll out (something my grandmother taught me). Don't try to roll out the entire dough mixture at once. Break it into smaller fist-size dough balls and do several batches. This will allow you to figure out how thin/thick you want your cheese straws to be. It also gives you a chance to adjust your cooking temp and time since everyone's ovens are a little different.
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I used three cups of cheese instead of four, dropped my temp to 375 and baked for 10 minutes...