Homemade Cheez-Its

This post is dedicated to my dear friend @Harmonyjoyyy. A friend in real life and in the twitterverse, she is one of those people I love following because she gets you through the “each minute feels like an hour” days. One of the things I’ve come to know about @Harmonyjoyyy is the girl. loves. cheez-its. =) Since giving up all snacks involving cheese, I had kinda forgot about them until I watched her pledge her allegiance and undying love. Maybe I was missing something here.

As I do each time I feel my allergy is making me miss out on awesomeness, I started googling homemade recipes until I found one with a decent picture. Success!

These crackers were everything I thought I was missing and more. They were salty and cheesy with just the right amount of crunch. Since this past weekend was @Harmonyjoyyy’s birthday and she was the inspiration, I made her some too! (with real cheese and butter =) H and L got a stash for being my taste testers, and all the crackers were gone within a day. Talk about addicting.
Yields about 7 dozen crackers.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. bag Dayia Cheddar Style Shreds
  • 3 TB Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened
  • 1 TB shortening, softened
  • 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt, plus some for sprinkling ( I cut the salt in half from the original recipe because Earth Balance is salted… I think)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 TB cold water

The first thing I noticed about the recipe was that it called for grated cheese. I’ve yet to find Dayia in block form in my area so I put a whole bag of shreds in a food processor and pulsed until the cheese was very fine.
Next combine the cheese, softened butter and shortening, and salt in a standing mixer until completely integrated. Mix in the flour, and then slowly add the water. The dough will be dry so you want to add enough water for it to come together, but you don’t want it to be too wet. Separate the dough into 2 discs, cover and refrigerate for roughly 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Roll out dough on a silicone mat (or parchment paper) to 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or whatever you have really, cut the dough into uniform squares. I tried to make mine about an inch like you would get out of the box. Size isn’t as important as much as the uniform part is! Otherwise some crackers will cook faster than others (learned the hard way!) In the center of each square poke a small hole using a toothpick. Sprinkle any additional salt.

Transfer the squares to a greased baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until the edges are the slightest brown. I poked the center of a few crackers to make sure they weren’t too puffy. Some of the puff will harden as the crackers cool.
Yum!
Here’s a swiss-gruyere version.
And a sharp cheddar!

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