The kids are back in school, and it’s time to stock up on after-school snacks again. I’m all for everything in moderation, and that includes processed foods like packaged Cheez-It crackers, every once in a while. But the ingredient list on packaged foods continues to give me hives — mentally, and physically.
I keep seeing homemade Cheez-It crackers recipes all over the internet, including Pinterest, so I decided to give them a try.
In terms of ingredients, you can’t get much simpler than this — there are four ingredients total: sharp cheddar cheese, flour, butter, salt. Easy peasy.
You start by simply tossing all ingredients into a food processor. Again: simple enough. I love it!
But then, the work begins.
You form two disks with the dough and refrigerate them for about 30 minutes. Then you take them out, roll them, use a pastry wheel to cut them into cute little squares, then refrigerate them again for about 10 minutes. Maybe you’re more talented (and surely more patient) than I am, but I found it difficult to roll that pastry wheel into straight lines.
You then take the cute little squares (or in my case, some squares, rectangles, and even circles — oops) out of the refrigerator and place them onto a baking sheet (I always use a Silpat on top of a perforated sheet).
Bake these at 350 degrees for about 9-11 minutes.
I would definitely make these again. I may also buy the packaged version again. The return on investment on these tasty crackers (and they are tasty) may not be worth it for most busy moms. I wouldn’t do these on a weeknight after work; they’re definitely a weekend project.
These homemade Cheez-It crackers should stay fresh if kept in an airtight container for up to a week.
Happy back-to-school season, everyone!
Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 1.5 Sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon salt (plus more for sprinkling on before baking)
- Put all four ingredients into a food processor and mix until ingredients form a ball, which takes about two minutes.
- Divide the ball into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Take dough out and place between two Silpats, Rolpats, or sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough until it’s about ⅛” flat. Remove top parchment paper/Silpat.
- Using a pastry wheel to get the cute scalloped edges (or you can use a pizza cutter for straight edges), cut dough into 1″ squares.
- Place dough on the Silpat/Rolpat/parchment paper into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to help chill the dough, which makes it easier to lift individual pieces out for baking.
- After 10 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and place individual crackers about ½” apart from each other on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or onto a Silpat.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes.