You may or may not know what a Cheez-It is but I give you fair warning that these are so tasty and easy to make that you will be peeking in your refrigerator to see if you have an 8oz block of cheese just asking to be baked into crispy cheddar perfection. That’s what these crackers are- crispy cheddar perfection.
I’m always baking up sweets for holidays and family celebrations so you can imagine my dad’s surprise when I handed him a package of crackers for Father’s Day. He was not only surprised but he was delighted!
You see these crackers are referred to as “Grandpa Crackers” in our home. Four Year Old Foodie gave them this name as a toddler since he rarely sees Grandpa without a box somewhere nearby. The best part is that my son got to use a cool pastry wheel and toothpicks – how awesome is it when your mom lets you touch 2 sharp things in 1 day? He was feeling very proud of himself.
Homemade Cheez-Its Recipe
Yield: 7 dozen crackers
Crisp cheddar copycat crackers
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tablespoons ice water
- Coarse salt for sprinkling
- Combine cheese, butter, shortening, and salt in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Slowly add flour and then the ice water. You may add a few more drops of water to help it come together but be careful not to add too much. You don’t want a wet dough.
- Pat the dough into 2 discs and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (or longer).
- Preheat oven to 375⁰F.
- Using parchment paper or a silicone mat roll each disc to 1/8 inch or less and cut into 1 inch squares (a pastry wheel or pizza wheel is easiest). Use a toothpick to punch a hole into the center of each square.
- If you have difficulty separating and transferring the crackers onto the baking sheet return the parchment paper/mat to the refrigerator for 10 minutes (while you roll out the 2nd dough disc).
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until puffed and browning around the edges. If you pull them out too soon and the crackers don’t have the desired crispiness you want then simply return them to the oven for 2-3 more minutes.
- Move crackers to a cooling rack. Makes about 7 dozen crackers.
- The original recipe calls for 4Tablespoons of butter. I used 1 Tablespoon of shortening to help with the crisping. Whatever method you choose just be sure to monitor those last few minutes of baking as these will burn easily. There is a very fine line between done and crisp and overdone and burnt.
Source: Adapted from ReadyMade Magazine
I’ve seen other people who have said these pair well with a good chardonnay. Um…my family eats them with tuna salad.