The internet has been abuzz recently with a do-it-yourself version of the classic Cheez-It cracker. I found the trail via one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, which led me to a Country Living recipe. I love Cheez-Its more than I should, but I try to resist their siren song in the cracker aisle. After all, they are highly processed—even though the label says 100% real cheese, I would rather use 100% real real cheese.
My overall verdict is that these crackers are insanely tasty, especially right out of the oven. After all, they are chock-full of butter and full-fat cheese. Are they worth the time? Maybe not. While I’m all about making my own food from scratch, the crackers were a bit more trouble than usual. My food processor is very small, so the first step of the recipe became an overloaded-bowl hassle. (Do it in batches if you are in the same boat.) Also, the butter/cheese factor is not too good for my cholesterol– since the crackers stay fresh about a week, I am forced against my will to eat them all!
DIY Cheese Crackers
Adapted from Country Living
Makes 2-3 cups of crackers
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
3 or 4 tablespoons ice-cold water
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper until the mixture is coarse crumbs. Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of cold water one at a time while continuing to pulse, until the dough forms a ball. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Using two sheets of waxed paper, roll the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into squares and place them on cookie sheets.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until crispy and golden. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.