Cheese Crackers, Fearless Friday April 2, 2010

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Heather says:

Welcome to the first monthly installment of Fearless Friday here on Home Ec 101. What have you tried in the past month? It doesn’t matter if your experiment was a complete success or an abysmal failure, both are learning experiences and help broaden our horizons.

This month, with all of our talk about eating less processed food, I decided to try a recipe I first saw on Lifehacker.com who found it at TheKitchn.com (have you been there? Why not?) who found it at Home Cooking, but the original source is actually here at Savory Seasonings: Cheddar Goldfish Crackers. Talk about making the rounds, eh? I’m an avowed Cheez-It fan, Cheese Nips can take a hike, but since we’re trying to be a little healthier I decided to try out Emily’s recipe instead.

Holy yum.

I will note they probably don’t save a whole lot of money, but they taste as good, if not better and you know exactly what they contain. Probably the most important factor with these bits of cheesy goodness is actually the effort required, they are fun to make and this is the non-pastry chef speaking, but if I want cheese crackers and I have to make them, I’m less likely to sit in front of Big Bang Theory (my current fave via Netflix) and scarf an entire box.

What did you do for Fearless Friday? If you have your own site, feel free to use the Mr. Linky otherwise share in the comments. I can’t wait to hear what you tried.

Cheddar Crackers

Homemade Cheddar Cheese Cracker Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour (I won’t lie, I vastly prefer the white, but I can see how someone would enjoy the wheat, it’s like a cheesy wheat thin)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white ground pepper (optional)
  • 4 TBSP cold butter, cut into small pieces (if you use salted, expect saltier crackers, we like that)
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 TBSP water

Homemade Cheddar Cheese Cracker Recipe Instructions

Grate the cheese, then clean out the food processor.

To the clean food processor add the flour and salt + the optional pepper if you have it. Pulse it once or twice to make sure it’s mixed. The add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture has that crumbly look. With the wheat it reminds me of brown sugar.

Cheddar Cheese Cracker DoughAdd the grated cheddar (Here’s where I admit to being distracted and performing the steps out of order, we survived – this is why the pics bounce between the wheat and the white).

Cheddar Cheese Dough CrumbsAnd pulse until the crumbly look has returned.

Then add the water, 1 TBSP at a time until the dough comes together.

Take the dough out of the food processor, shape into a disc and wrap with cling wrap. Chill the dough for at least 20 minutes.

Now here, friends and neighbors is why y’all pay me the big bucks. Oh, what’s that? This is free? Oh. After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350F. Divide the dough into quarters and roll it out between sheets of waxed paper to 1/8th inch thickness. I found the dough much easier to work with in smaller amounts.

Once the dough has been rolled out, remove the top layer of wax paper and use the blunt edge of a knife, a pizza cutter, your kid’s play dough (clean!) tools or whatever floats your boat to cut the dough into fun shapes or not-so-fun shapes. It’s totally your call.

Cheddar Cheese Cracker DoughTransfer the shapes to a clean, ungreased baking sheet. I do this simply by inverting the whole sheet of wax paper over the pan and then scootching -that’s a technical term there- the crackers around until none of them are touching. Depending on your shapes you can fit 1/2 the dough on 1 full baking sheet.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, for crisper crackers you may want to go a little longer. Don’t worry, slightly doughy crackers will crisp as they cool.

Use a plastic spatula to remove the crackers from the pan, cool, and store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. says

    I haven't seen "Big Bang Theory" often but it always makes me laugh when I do. I've been meaning to try homemade crackers for awhile – there's a recipe in the "Tightwad Gazette" that looks good. Maybe this weekend I'll give it a shot.

    • says

      I identify a little too much with Sheldon, I see a lot of myself and my oldest son. Then again, I think that's probably part of what makes that show. I need to check that out of the library again. I haven't read it in a few years and probably need a refresher. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Stacy says

    Thanks! It's good timing for me because I've recently wanted to try making crackers of some kind, AND I have been thinking about how annoying it is that people always want to give my toddler Goldfish crackers as some kind of "healthy" snack. Ugh. Don't people ever read labels? I usually don't say anything because I want to be nice, but it bugs me that people give little kids so much junk. So maybe if I make these and bring them places, I can say I thought everyone might like them AND they're so much healthier than the Goldfish. Okay, it's not exactly full of superfoods, but still, no hydrogenated oil or preservatives.

    • says

      I won't lie, I like the white flour ones much more than the whole wheat. But you're right, this one is a lot more about what's not in them than what is.

  3. says

    I will SO make these when I get moved. Coz I'll have an actual, real oven for the first time in 11 years. I LOVE CHEEZ ITS so much, but I have to watch it with them. MY NAME IS BOBBIE AND I AM A CARB ADDICT. I agree, Cheese Nips are meh. AND!!! They have MSG. Blecch. Anyway…

    I'm not too adventurous in the kitchen lately — too much other adventure/drama for now. But I'm cheerin' y'all onward and upward! Go y'all!
    My recent post The Potty Police? You'll be relieved to know they're on the job

    • says

      We all get that way from time to time. I thought March was going to be a little easier than February time-wise. I'm not quite sure what happened, I blinked and it was April. Hang in there through your transition.

  4. DanaB says

    I'm with ya in the appreciation of Cheez-Its… These homemade ones would be great to try, especially with my budding chef-girlie… You do know what's in them…makes them worth the work, I think. Thanks :)

    ~~
    My recent post Hans Christian Andersen

  5. DanaB says

    I'm with ya in the appreciation of Cheez-Its… These homemade ones would be great to try, especially with my budding chef-girlie… You do know what's in them…makes them worth the work, I think. Thanks :)

    ~~
    My recent post Hans Christian Andersen

  6. says

    Thanks for an amazing recipe! We made two batches in our food processor that is the size of a woman's clutch. halving each batch in the processor, it worked beautifully. We made two alterations: 1) .25 to .5 teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead of the white (we had none) and 2) after the roll out and the first length ways cut, I moved the strips apart. This allowed for less positioning on the cookie sheet. The whole experience was accompanied by my husband reading some epicurean article on how tofu is artesianly made in Japan. Thanks for a great evening.
    My recent post Poem for Holy Saturday

  7. says

    Thanks for an amazing recipe! We made two batches in our food processor that is the size of a woman's clutch. halving each batch in the processor, it worked beautifully. We made two alterations: 1) .25 to .5 teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead of the white (we had none) and 2) after the roll out and the first length ways cut, I moved the strips apart. This allowed for less positioning on the cookie sheet. The whole experience was accompanied by my husband reading some epicurean article on how tofu is artesianly made in Japan. Thanks for a great evening.
    My recent post Poem for Holy Saturday

  8. says

    Mmm…cheesy crackers. I HAVE to make these now. Thanks Heather!

    I made a brisket for the first time in my life for Easter. Actually, my mom did it, but I'm the one who called and got the recipe from my grandfather. This will be served at my house much more often now.

  9. Carol Sorensen says

    Do you absolutely have to use a food processor? Could a pastry cutter work as well?

  10. says

    Been debating, and I am going to try this with a blend of Rice and Potato flour and see if I can make something Gluten free that may be a bit more fun than the awful Gluten Free crackers we can find in the stores.

  11. Melanie Makin says

    JayMonster, any luck with that? I tried this recipe tonight and although I don't have any gluten allergies, a family member who I wanted to try these for does. I substituted a)rice flour for wheat and b)parchment paper for wax paper (because I was out!).

    My observations with this dough:
    Crazy hard to roll!
    The thicker crackers didn't crisp up very much when cooled (they stay a little doughy, but I've got no issues with that).
    The thinner ones sometimes stuck to the baking sheet, so we did a batch baked on parchment paper and it worked well.

    Are the regular wheat ones as hard to roll (and roll uniformly)? I'd love some feedback.

    BTW, the rice flour ones taste GREAT.

      • Melanie Makin says

        I used gluten-free rice flour. Dividing into portions was a huge help, but I'm sure that actual waxed paper would have been an even greater help ;) I'm thinking through trying to put it through the roller on my pasta maker for a more consistent thickness. Good idea or bad idea?

        Melanie

  12. Melanie Makin says

    Sorry about this, I was just trying to subscribe to comments. Arg.