Friday, August 31, 2012

homemade cheez-it cheese crackers

It's my husband's birthday and since I never know what to get him, I always try and make him something special. I mean really, who complains when they receive a gift that is edible???

Possibly one of my husband's favorite sweets is a No Bake Cheesecake with blueberry sauce and hands down for a savory snack it's Cheez-Its. He flew on a red-eye last night and as he was flying in the friendly skies, I was in the kitchen whipping up his birthday presents. 

This is actually the second time I've ever made homemade Cheez-Its because frankly it's just easier to go out and buy a box. But since I was desperate for a gift for my hubby, Cheez-its were made.....

Homemade Cheez-It Cheese Crackers
adapted from the recipe found on Chicagoist 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus another 1/2 teaspoon for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese ***I used what I had in my frig - a combination of Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and a hard aged Gouda.***
4 tablespoons unsalted butter - cold and cut into cubes
2 - 3 tablespoons ice cold water

In a bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine -  flour, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, dry mustard powder, cayenne pepper and paprika. Add the grated cheese and pulse 3 - 4 times. Drop in the cubed butter and pulse a few more times until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the ice cold water one tablespoon at a time. The dough will look moist and will hold it's shape when pinched together. Dumb the moist cheesy clusters onto a piece of plastic wrap, gather it together and gently press it into a disk. Wrap the dough up and place it in the frig for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350°.

Cut your disk of dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll your dough out to 1/8 inch thick. 

Using a fluted pizza wheel or a plain old knife, cut into small 1 inch squares. A straight edge or a ruler helps with keeping the crackers square. 

Using the blunt side of a wooden skewer poke a hole in the center of each cracker. 

Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Transfer your crackers onto your parchment lined baking sheet and repeat steps with the other half of dough.
Bake your crackers for 25 - 30 minutes. Rotating halfway through baking. All ovens are different so your baking time will vary. Remove from oven and cool completely. ***One of my sheets of crackers came out soft after baking and cooling. I turned my oven on again and baked them for an additional 3 -5 minutes. Keeping my eye on them so that they didn't burn.***

Homemade Cheez-Its can be stored in an airtight container for a few weeks. That's if they last that long.


  1. Those look great & no chemical yucky junk like store bought. I'm going to make these for my kiddos. Thanks!

    1. Aliya.....these were and are super yummy!!! And yes, no additive preservatives. If you want them crunchy like the originals after the initial bake of 25-30 minutes on parchment, slide them back onto your baking sheet without parchment.