Not every homemade recipe is something you’ll make all the time. I think every cook has a stash of recipes that include the day-to-day basics that get used all the time, but then also has a stash of recipes for special occasions, and those every-now-and-then times where something a little out of the ordinary sounds fun.
Homemade Cheez-it crackers fall into the second category.
Will you make your own Cheez-its from scratch every week? Most likely not. But once in a while it’s fun to have something a little different around for eating or to give your little kitchen helpers something interesting to create.
The dough for these homemade cheese crackers goes together fast in the food processor. In fact making the dough is the easy part that can be done a day or two ahead of time if you want. The dough needs to be chilled before you roll it, and it’s OK sitting in the refrigerator wrapped in wax paper overnight or even longer if needed.
The more time consuming part of this recipe is rolling the dough and cutting it into squares. But even that part of the process goes fairly quickly with the help of a pastry wheel (A pastry wheel like this one with a fluted edge works nicely). If you don’t have a pastry wheel, a pizza cutter would work too.
I like to make a little hole in each cracker too which helps them look like their store-bought counterparts and also helps offset some of the puffiness of the cracker. Here again, you can be resourceful and use what you have. Something like a bamboo skewer would work, and I ended up using this wine bottle stopper-thing I had around which worked well too!
The most important thing is to roll your dough VERY thinly. If the dough is not rolled thinly, you’ll end up with tall puffy crackers. And yes, I found that out the hard way. 🙂
The combo of shredded cheese, turmeric, and ground red pepper give nice natural coloring to these crackers too, as well as giving them a tasty boost of flavor.
Here’s how to do it:
Homemade Cheese Crackers
- 1-1/2 cups Flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper (cayenne)
- 1-1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (sharp is good!)
- 5 tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter – cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup Water
Place the flour, spices, shredded cheese, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until things are combined. The mixture will still be dry and just a little bit crumbly looking.
Next, with the food processor on low, slowly pour the water through the food chute. The mixture will start sticking together more and more as you pour the water in, and the mixture is complete when have a ball of sticky dough rolling around in the processor.
Remove the dough from the processor and wrap it in wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
To make the crackers: Roll some of the dough out on a lightly floured surface. The key to making these crackers is to roll the dough VERY thinly. If the dough is not thinly rolled, you will end up with tall, puffy crackers.
Cut the thinly rolled dough into small squares using a pastry wheel. Make a hole in the middle of each square using a skewer or other pointed object.
Place the dough squares on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: You might find that these homemade crackers are a little softer than store bought crackers, but that was OK with me because the flavor was still good.