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.