the thin chef

Homemade Cheez-Its

This is the second post this week about a favorite, go-to snack that tastes even better when you make it from scratch. Why go through the trouble, you might ask, when you can easily grab a box of crackers at the grocery store and call it a day? Well, for one, these taste better. (And I am a huge fan of the non-homemade kind. I once, regrettably, ate an entire box in one sitting, and was very ill as a result.) Second, you know exactly what’s going in them, and there are only a handful of ingredients, instead of odd-sounding preservatives and trans fats. You can use organic ingredients, if you’d like, and local butter and cheese, if you’re fortunate enough to have access to them.

It takes 30 seconds to throw this dough together in the food processor and about 4 minutes to roll and cut the crackers. They bake for less than 30 minutes, and you can clean the whole kitchen and start a load of laundry in that time, so really, it doesn’t count.

Now tell me that’s not faster than a trip to Publix. That’s what I thought.

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers
makes about 40 crackers
Adapted from this Country Living recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 (7-ounce) bag grated extra-sharp 2% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but recommended)
5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour, butter, cheese, salt, and cayenne in the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse until crumbly. Pulse in water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. (You may not use all the water.)

Wrap dough in plastic wrap, press into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mats. Set aside.

Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper. (It’s sticky!) Roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Carefully flip dough in parchment over, and gently peel off the top layer. Using a pizza cutter, trim dough into a rectangle, then cut into 2-inch squares. Carefully transfer squares onto baking sheets, using a spatula if needed.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until crackers are just slightly turning light brown, and are crisp. Quickly cool and taste one for crispness. If they are not crisp, bake just a few minutes longer. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if they last that long!). If crackers are soggy after storing, re-crisp them in a preheated 400º oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 at 2:27 pm and is filed under basic techniques, comfort food, do-ahead, inspiration, money saving, quick and easy, vegetarian. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


31 Responses to “Homemade Cheez-Its”

  1. billie Says:

    Thank you! I have to try these!! I love crackers of any kind!!

  2. Day 10: We’re Taking This Thing Natural! « No Longer Playing Grown-Up Says:

    […] but I’m worried they won’t give me the same satisfaction and keep me from the office candy jar. I have these crackers I want to try. Do you have any other recipe suggestions for […]

  3. Robin Says:

    Okay. I found this same recipe somewhere else and then Googled and found you.

    I love Cheez-its, as does a co-worker.

    I made these for her and they were delicious. Made them twice and they are not ‘cracker-like’.

    They are never crispy. Is there something I’m missing?

    Don’t get me wrong… this is going into my cookbook and I’ll make them again… But I’m going to have to tell her to re-heat them.

    What am I doing wrong, if anything?

  4. thin chef Says:

    Hi there, just make sure you’re rolling the dough nice and thin. Make sure the butter stays cold, and the dough doesn’t get too warm when rolling; the cold butter should make it nice and flaky. These don’t bake up quite as crunchy as the boxed kind, more flaky and crisp…just be sure the dough is nice and thin when you roll it out. Good luck!

  5. Kimberly Says:

    My boyfriend love, love, loves Cheez-Its. He eats them by the box, to be honest. But I figured homemade Cheez-Its would be fun and cool to make. But we don’t have a food processor. How could I make these without one?

  6. thin chef Says:

    That’s a little tough, just because the cheese and butter need to be chopped together and finely blended. If you can get your hands on a sharp pastry cutter, that could work. But otherwise, I’m sorry, I just don’t know if doing these by hand would be the same.

  7. KingSparta Says:

    There Is Baking Soda In Real Cheese-It’s Have You Tried Putting Baking Soda Into This Recipe?

  8. American Craving of the Week: Cheez-Its « Says:

    […] followed this recipe from at, although I used a white cheese that wasn’t low-fat instead of the […]

  9. thin chef Says:

    I haven’t…wonder if they’d puff up more?

  10. Brittany M. Says:

    Oh man, you just gave me the perfect “small-reminder-that-I-love-you” gift idea for my boyfriend. He is obsessed with Cheez-its. And you say these taste better? Now I’m obligated to make them! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Annie Says:

    Made these today…next time, need to make about 4 batches at once! Loved them! And so much more healthy!