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Home-Made Cheez-Its

Last updated on December 23, 2012

Yesterday afternoon I came across this post about making home-made Cheez-It-like crackers on LiveJournal. Since they sounded good and we had all the ingredients around the I went ahead and made some. It took about five minutes to make the dough then 10-15 to cut them out. After this they baked for 18-20 minutes until they were done.

Brief recipe is as follows:

  1. Combine the following ingredients in a food processor and process until crumbly:
    • 8 oz. Shredded Cheddar
    • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
    • 4 tbsp. room-temp Salted Butter (Use 1/2 tsp. of salt if using unsalted butter.)
    • 1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. Ground Mustard
  2. After completely integrated, drizzle in 2 tbsp. of tap water and process more so it forms a dough.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  4. Lay the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll thin; perhaps 5mm thick.
  5. Cut the dough into rough squares with a pizza cutter.
  6. Poke small holes in the center of each piece of dough with a round toothpick with the end cut flat.
  7. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle with flaked salt. I used a flaked Spanish sea salt.
  9. Bake at ~375°F until golden brown. This took me almost 20 minutes. (If underdone the centers will be soft and they won’t be very good.)
  10. Cool, transfer to an air tight container for storage.

These are very, very good. They are similar to Cheez-Its in that they are snack crackers, but they taste much better and don’t have that odd vomit-like smell familiar to anyone who has opened a new box of the Nabisco product.

UPDATE / Lessons Learned: The second time I made these I did a couple things differently which made it much easier, and they came out quite a bit better (photo of the second batch):

  1. I split the dough into two halves, rolled the halves out separately, and baked each half in a separate pan. This gave me much more room to work and allowed me to roll the dough thinner making them more properly cracker-like.
  2. When rolling out the dough I put some thin bamboo skewers down next to the dough and used this as a spacer for the rolling pin. This allowed for all the crackers to be a consistent thickness.
  3. Dough was cut into 1″ squares for consistency in baking.
  4. After cutting the dough into squares I inverted the cookie sheet over it, then flipped the whole assembly over. Don’t bother separating the dough squares, this can be done later.
  5. Part-way through baking use a spatula to separate the partially-crunchy squares, shake to distribute them throughout the pan, and continue baking. This is much easier than trying to separate the squares when putting them on the pan.
  6. Be sure to bake any mis-shapen trimming pieces from the edges. They are just as good, but know that they’ll cook faster.
  7. Err on the side of over baking. Slightly browned crackers are better than chewy ones.
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