If you like Cheez-Its® (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love these crackers.
I was hesitant to make them – I somehow have it in my head that crackers are a major effort for little reward. But they’re so simple, and the dough is a dream to work with, I can’t see any reason not to make them (unless you really only have time to run to the store and pick up a box of crackers).
The dough is made in the food processor, just throw everything in there and pulse it until it forms a ball. I used sharp cheddar and the flavor is just perfect. I’m imagining these with manchego and some smoked paprika – any strongly flavored semi-hard or hard cheese would likely work. Lara (the author of the book) suggests making these even cheesier by topping them with cheese powder (recipe is in the book). Sounds good to me.
I’d also like to try freezing these once they’re cut into squares (without the milk on top). I want to have a handful of these on hand so I can make them up fresh as a snack for unexpected company. Or just for me. The only downside to the crackers is that the texture doesn’t quite hold up over time – so eat them all. No problem. If not, they can be re-crisped in a low oven, but they won’t be quite the same.
Makes about 70 crackers
These crackers are packed with cheese flavor, even if they aren’t bright orange. For a traditional cheddar flavor, use a good sharp cheddar (I like Beecher’s Flagship). Or go a little crazy and use a stronger cheese like Camembert.
4 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons (1â„4 stick) unsalted butter
1â„2 cup (60 grams) whole-grain spelt flour or white whole-wheat flour
1â„4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose or white spelt flour
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1â„4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk, plus more for brushing
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
Combine the cheese, butter, whole-grain spelt flour, all-purpose flour, onion powder, salt and milk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Pulse to form a ball, 1 to 2 minutes. If the dough appears oily from the cheese, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll out the dough until is is to 1â„8 to 1â„16 inch thick. Brush the dough with the milk. Using a pastry wheel or knife, cut the dough into 1-by-1-inch squares. Prick the center of each cracker with a skewer. Place the crackers on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1â„2 inch between crackers.
Bake until the crackers are just slightly brown on the edges, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. The crackers will crisp up as they cool, so be careful not to overbake them. Cool the crackers completely on a wire rack.
Excerpted from Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk by Lara Ferroni. Copyright Â©2012 by Lara Ferroni. Excerpted by permission of Sasquatch Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
- Cheesy Squares (Real Snacks, p. 97)