I have recently found and fell in love with the FoodBuzz website, for those not familiar it's a great resource for recipes from bloggers all over the world. A few days ago I came across a recipe for homemade Cheez-Its by Katrina from In Katrina's Kitchen (her original recipe can be found here). I was immediately smitten and knew I just had to try them.
I didn't have the pastry wheel like she did so mine didn't look as pretty, but I am willing to bet they tasted just as good. Her recipe is genius, the crackers are delicious and flaky with just the right amount of crunch. Kudos to her for introducing me to making them from scratch, my husband and the rest of my family love me for making them and I know they are something I will be incorporating into my repertoire from here on.
Yield: About 6-7 dozen cheez-its
Prep Time: 40 minuntes I Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes I Bake Time: 12 minutes
- 8oz cheddar cheese (any kind, I used a sharp cheddar)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons cold water
I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to combine my ingredients using the flat beater, I'm sure the whisk would have been fine too. Start by mixing the cheese, butter and salt until well blended. I used my butter cold out of the refrigerator but cut it into slices so it would combine better. When the mixture is well blended add the flour slowly until it is fully incorporated. Then add the water in one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry you can add a little more water. You want the dough to be slightly sticky but not wet.
Divide the dough into two even balls and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When the time is up take the dough out and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a greased rolling pin flatten the dough out to approximately 1/8 inch thickness. I trimmed the edges so I had a square or rectangle and then cut out 1 inch squares. I used a pizza cutter to cut everything, if you have a pastry wheel, this is even better!
Place the squares on a greased cookie sheet and use a toothpick or pointed end of a dowel to poke holes in the center. You can sprinkle some coarse salt on the cheez-its before popping them in the oven but I didn't think they needed it and everyone thought they tasted perfect. This is purely a preference, if you like them a little salty sprinkle a little salt on top. I set the timer initially for 10 minutes and then checked on their doneness. I ended up cooking them for a total of 12 minutes, but again this can depend on your oven and whether you want them to crispier.
Repeat this method until you have made all of the crackers. I dumped all of my crackers as they came out of the oven into a ceramic platter to cool. You can put them on a cooling rack too if you'd like, just don't leave them on the pans so they wont cook more than you want them to.
Some other variations I saw online for this recipe included the addition of cayenne or chili pepper to give the crackers a kick, I think I am going to try this next time I make them. You can also switch up the cheese and experiment, I think a smoked gouda would make an awesome cracker too.
Recipe adapted from In Katrina's Kitchen