Copycat Snacks: Cheez-It Cheese Crackers

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A lot of the ideas I have for blog posts come from discussions of food in one of the various chat servers I hang out in. This one is no different. A few days ago, someone mentioned their friend eating all of their Cheez-Its, and someone else tagged me saying I’m “magic” and could just make more of them appear. Well, challenge accepted.

Not gonna lie here, I was never actually that big of a fan of Cheez-Its. I’m usually a fan of mild cheeses, and I don’t tend to like really salty treats, and Cheez-Its are a sharper cheese and a lot of salt. But hey, that’s not enough to stop me from making something when I’m challenged! Plus, my partner loves the things, so he’ll be the judge.

I’ve actually never made crackers before, so it surprised me just how few ingredients you need for these. It’s just cheese, flour, butter, salt, and water. What more could you need, really?

As it turns out, while the flavor is pretty easy to get right, the shape is a bit harder. These puffed up like nobody’s business, and without that hole poked in them, they’d be pretty much spherical. I rolled them pretty thin, but the thinnest ones stayed the closest to a normal Cheez-It, so I’d say if you roll them almost paper-thin they’d be a lot closer in shape.

You can also make these with any cheese you like. I’m not usually a fan of sharp cheddar, but we used it for this and it’s great. I’m definitely going to make them again at some point, probably with different cheeses to try.

I also experimented with adding a brush of oil and sprinkled salt on top, like real Cheez-Its. Personally, I thought they were too salty, but my partner likes them that way, so it’s really a matter of preference.

If you’re making these yourself — and I hope you do — they’re pretty easy, just a bit tedious with all of the rolling and cutting and poking holes. You can speed it up by having someone there with you to help. Either way, here’s how!

Copycat Snacks: Cheesy Cheez-It Crackers

A fairly close replication of Cheez-It crackers, customizable to be whatever shape and flavor you prefer.
Servings 5 Cups
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking Sheets
  • Parchment Paper
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Cooling Rack
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Pizza Cutter Or knife; something to cut the dough.

Ingredients

  • 8 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese Coarsely Grated.
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Butter Room Temp.
  • 2 Tbsp Ice Water
  • ½ Tsp Kosher Salt Optionally, plus more for topping.
  • 2 Tbsp Oil Optional, to coat.

Instructions

  • In your stand mixer, beat together the cheese and butter until creamy. You'll probably need to scrape it down several times to fully combine. This should take about five minutes.
  • Add in the salt. Gradually mix in the flour bit by bit, mixing constantly, until the dough is sandy-looking.
  • Gradually add in ice water about 1 Tsp at a time, until the dough comes together.
  • Divide the dough into two portions. Flatten them into thick discs and wrap them with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Working with about a third of a dough disc at a time, lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough flat, as thin as you can. At least ⅛th of an inch thick, if not thinner. The thinner you roll it, the less puffy the resulting crackers will be. Keep excess dough chilled when not working with it.
  • Cut your crackers into squares about an inch to a side, or slightly longer, as you prefer. The rough edges of the dough can be re-balled, re-rolled, and re-cut until you've used up all of the dough.
  • Using a skewer or chopstick, poke a hole in the center of the cracker squares. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the crackers on it, leaving a tiny bit of space between them. They don't spread, so don't worry much as long as they aren't touching.
  • (OPTIONAL) For a more "authentic" Cheez-It, brush the crackers with a bit of oil and sprinkle kosher salt lightly across them. They're fine without it, though, if you want to cut down on the salt.
  • Bake each batch for 14 or so minutes, or until they look golden and crispy. Once done, move to a cooling rack ASAP to cool down. Repeat the process until you've baked all the dough.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese, Copycat Snacks, Cracker

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