Homemade Cheez-Its

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Introduction: Homemade Cheez-Its

About: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and learning fun facts.

I'll be the first to admit that I have a problem. A big, delicious, cheesy problem. I adore Cheez-Its. But the other day I looked on the side of the box, and was horrified by the nutrition facts and ingredients. Chemicals I can't pronounce? Serving size of only 27 crackers? No. Thank. You.

Well here's an insanely simple way to make one of the greatest snacks known to man (yeah, I went there. What'cha gonna do?) in your own kitchen. Read on, fellow cheese-lover.

Step 1: Cheese Please!

Don't you love simple recipes? Me too. All you need to make your own Cheez-Its is:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons of cold butter, cut into small pieces (not melted)
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (orange if you can)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • cold water
Materials:
  • oven
  • food processor
  • parchment paper
  • cookie sheet
  • rolling pin

If you want to get creative here, go for it! The cayenne adds a bit of a kick, which is great. Maybe give parmesan garlic a whirl, or try your hand at their Tabasco hot & spicy variety.  

Note: in these pictures I'm making a double batch. Don't worry when it looks like you have less crackers than me - you do.


Step 2: Chop

Before moving forward, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now simply combine all your ingredients in your food processor (or in a bowl first, if your food processor's really small). Pulse until crumbly.

Step 3: Make Dough

Once you have a cheesy crumble, add cold water by the tablespoon and mix until it comes together into a dough. 

Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 30 mins.

Step 4: Roll

The colder your dough, the easier it will be to handle. So be sure to wait the full 30 mins.

Take the hard dough out of the freezer and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Or wax paper. I didn't have either of these so used aluminium foil. Don't do this, if you can help it.

Grab your rolling pin, and flatten dough until it's about 1/8 of an inch.
 

Step 5: Cut Into Squares, and Bake

Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. Again, I didn't have any, so I used aluminium foil that was buttered-down. 

Transfer your thin sheets of dough onto the pan, and then cut into small squares with a knife, pizza cutter, pastry wheel, or whatever else you fancy.

Sprinkle with salt, and bake (at 350) for 20-25 mins, until the bottoms are golden brown.

Step 6: Serve and Snack!

Once your house smells of cheesy-goodness, and your crackers have reached a nice golden hue, take them out of the oven. Test for crispiness, and keep baking if needed. 

If everything feels right, let them cool a bit and start munching! Enjoy!

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93 Comments

Great Instructable saw this and wanted to try it because Cheez-its are great. So I did but, I didn't have cheddar so I used mozzarella cheese. Also I added the hole that they have. As well as that, about 5 minutes before cooking was complete I sprinkled salt on them.

Photo on 2011-05-16 at 12.56.jpg
2 replies

You can also do them like you would a soft pretzel and brush them lightly with water and sprinkle on the salt, so it sticks. Killer recipe.

I made these and they are delicious. But head's up - if you're expecting them to be "more healthy" (from a nutritional content standpoint) just because they're homemade, think again... I entered this recipe on www.caloriecount.com for a quick idea. Assuming you can split this recipe up into 10 servings (which will be tough!), these still lose to Cheez-Its nutritionally:

Calories: 178, Fat: 12.3g (7.7g Saturated), Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 348mg, Carbs: 9.9g, Protein: 7g.

Compared to my "extra toasty" Cheez-Its: Fewer carbs, more protein, but worse in every other category. I'm sure there are some adjustments we could make to make these more healthy, though. Low fat cheese, half the salt, etc.

1 reply

I'm a diabetic. Fewer carbs and more protein is good enough for me. The "healthy" adjustments would make them taste less yummy, so I'd be tempted to go back to the store for a box of the real thing--which defeats the purpose.

[sigh] Can I be your captain von Trapp?
Love it.

If I die and they let me into heaven, I really don't care what I find there... Just so long as there is good music, good wine and plenty of Cheez-its for everyone! I seriously can't wait to try this. I too am slave to those addictive little squares of orange deliciousness! :-) Thanks for sharing your recipe.

I'm going to try these, but I don't understand why I'd want to have the oven running while the dough is in the freezer for 30 minutes.

1 reply

cuz u should pre-heat ur oven

Wow! These are great! Thanks for posting. I actually made mine low sodium to accommodate a low sodium diet to control high blood pressure. I used unsalted butter, "NoSalt" salt substitute, and Swiss cheese instead of cheddar, since Swiss has about a quarter the sodium of cheddar. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly, and they turned out great; even my family, who aren't on low sodium, said they taste really good!

1 reply

That's awesome! I love how versatile this recipe is.

I made two batches today, and I think the second batch came out just right, though nobody complained about the first batch. :) for the second batch, I perfected the bake by using the convection oven at 300 degrees for 22 minutes. I think a lower temperature is needed to keep the outside from getting too dark before the inside is done.

I also used my Mercato Atlas 150 pasta maker to roll out the dough. The #1 setting makes crackers a little thicker than the originals. Next time, I am going to try the #2 setting to try to replicate the thickness of the originals.

I've made these quite a bit and they're great. Like ernestog et. al. I tried the pasta machine to get really thin crackers but I found it too time consuming. If you've got a tortilla press, use that, take the dough "tortilla" cut it into squares with a pizza cutter, slide a thin metal spatula under them and transfer them to the pan. Separating them so they don't touch and brown evenly is still tedious though.

Hi Kazmataz, I operate a small Bakery in Asturias Northern Spain. A customer suggested we try a cheese cracker like a sample she brought from England. They were nice Cheddar and Stilton crackers, but with a very subtle flavour . I looked around on the web to see what I could find and came across your recipe. Tried it. Very good. But I wanted to try something with blue cheese. After a few tests, adding and taking away ingredients... We now have a really good Blue Cheese Cracker. Just a Cup of Flour, 8 oz of strong Blue Cheese and a little water. I use a Pasta Roller to make them as thin as possible, aprox 30 mins in the oven at 180 C, and voila! Nice, crunchy, crackers.
Thanks a bunch for the base recipe. If you are ever in Spain, feel free to drop by.

1 reply

Oh my goodness, those sound amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

Holy mother of pearl, these things are addictive! I made a double batch for my husband to take on a hunting trip tomorrow. I doubt any of them will leave the house!

THANK YOU! These are so delicious. :)

I loved this idea from the moment I heard about it!! I have a daughter in pre school and thought this was a much healthier snack for her to bring!! These were absolutely UH-mazing!! The taste was soooo good. I had to stop myself from munching them all down lol! I did make a couple adjustments I didn't add the cayenne pepper cause I didn't have any but subbed in 1/2 tsp hot sauce. I also added a few shakes of onion and garlic powder which are flavors my fam adore. I even cut out little butterflies and flower shapes just to be cute. I will def be making these again. Next time a double or triple batch ;p Thanks so much for the great recipe!!!

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step away from the bacon , stay back I say, the cardiologist is a cummin round the bend.

mmmmm

basically cheese pie crust I like it, never thought about how to make it, vera verra nice

If you fry bacon a pound at a time save all the fat with the pan scrapings pour while hot into tallish wide mouth container free it lop off the bottom (with all the brown bits, with enough fat to make up the amount called for in butter .

Take a Pepsid ac and use a double batch ((so you can use half bacon fat half butter) maybe crumble in 1/8 pound real bacon.

take statin drug as prescribed by doctor

bake as shown

take nitro pill,

enjoy