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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Homemade Cheez-Its

Who doesn't like Cheez-Its and especially the commercials for the mature cheese.  Have you looked at the box at the ingredients?  So why not make them yourself and then you know what are in them and you can use whatever cheese you like.

This is actually the second time I made these crackers.  The first time something happened to my pictures and I lost them when I tried to upload them.  So when that happens there is only one thing to do and that is make them again.  No one in my  house complained about that.  In fact, they went over so well I doubled the recipe and used some different types of cheeses.  I still want to experiment some more with the recipe.  Next time I want to add some cayenne pepper to add a little kick.
Keep in mind I doubled the recipe this time so at the end I will give the basic single recipe.
Start by grating your cheese.  I used 8 oz of Monterrey Jack cheese.
The second 8 oz cheese is a sharp cheese.  I love my food processor.
Change out the blade in the processor.
Add 2 cups all purpose flour.
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard.
My addition of 1/2 teaspoon paprika.  Could use more.
Put the cheese back in the processor.
Cut up 8 Tablespoons of cold butter.
Add that to the processor.
Measure out 4 Tablespoons cold water.
Add a little at a time and pulse after each addition.
As you add the water you will see the dough come together.
Ball the dough and place in plastic wrap.
Wrap well and place in the fridge for at least 22 minutes. Longer doesn't hurt.
Here are some of my new tools that I get to play with today. The new rolling pin really works well.  You don't have to use a mat to roll the dough out but it helps.  I used parchment last time.  It makes picking them up easier if they are rolled out on something.  Then the little crinkle cutter makes a pretty edge.  You con't have to have that either.  Then I bought a flexible ruler to keep in the kitchen because I can't make a straight line if I had to.
I just roll a little bit of the dough at a time. Put the rest back in the fridge.
Just start rolling the dough.  The thiner the better with this recipe.  The markings on the mat are nice because I know I have it rolled thin enough when I can see the markings.
Then start cutting.
Make lines one way.
Then the other way.  See the nice edges.
Then place them on a parchment lines cookie sheet.  They can be close together because they will not spread while baking.

Use something to poke a hole in the middle of the cracker.  I used a bamboo skewer.  They make just the right size hole.
See the holes. Place in a preheated 350 oven.  Bake for about 13 minutes.  Watch them because you want them crisp but not burned.  The thiner they are rolled the crisper they will get.

Fresh from the oven.  They are like Lay's potato chips you can't eat just one.  They are good cold if they last that long but they are great warm from the oven.

Homemade Cheez-Its Recipe

This is for a single recipe.  It is very easy to double
1 cup all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese grated
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 Tablespoons cold water

Can add paprika or cayenne powder.  Play around with different cheese. 

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