Homemade Cheez-Its





Introduction: Homemade Cheez-Its

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
  • 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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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

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.

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.

cuz u should pre-heat ur oven