Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers (aka Cheez-Its®), found over at Rachel Cooks. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and I have to confess: I’m not really much of a cracker gal. When it comes to crackers, I generally stick to Ritz or Graham Crackers and once a decade or so I’ll eat some Chicken in a Biskit crackers (don’t judge). However, I don’t think I’ve ever made crackers before, and the whole idea of this site is to occasionally do new things, so I was all for it.
The ingredients are simple:
All-purpose flour, sharp cheddar, butter, salt and ground mustard (not pictured: 2 T of cold water.)
First, shred your cheese in the food processor, since you’re going to be using it to put the dough together, anyway. I mean, you COULD shred/ grate it by hand, but why go to all that extra work?
Next, put all your other ingredients in there, and pulse ’til it looks all crumb-y.
And then add your cold water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and pulse ’til the dough holds together. (If you’re the doubtful sort, like me, you’ll probably think “There’s no way that’s going to get dough-like. What the fuck?”, but it works out like it’s supposed to. Imagine that.)
Then wrap your dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
You can do what you’d like with your 20 minutes. This is what I did with mine:
Also, not pictured: scooped litter boxes, filled bird feeders.
By the time I got back to the kitchen, it had been 25 minutes.
I am terrible, horrible, no good at rolling out dough, and the recipe specifically said that the thinner the better, so I made Fred come into the kitchen and do it for me.
I am also horrible at cutting straight lines, so Fred did that as well. I figured, he’s an engineer, he should be better at cutting straight lines than I am, right? Yeah, okay. Keep believing that, dumbass.
I poked holes in each of the crackers with a toothpick.
Put them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake, let cool, and then put them in a bowl to take pictures of them.
What did the cats think?
The verdict of the humans? They were really good! They were similar to Cheez-Its®, but different. Better, honestly. We ate all the crackers over the course of two days, and though I’m still not really a cracker gal, I think I’m going to make them again. Fred gave ’em two thumbs up!
This is where I have to admit (once again) that I did not read the entire recipe when I picked it. To be honest I just looked at the pretty picture and thought, “I like cheese!” and sent the link to Robyn for approval. The above picture should show you that I didn’t read it through because I would have never picked a recipe that involved using a food processor. I HATE them (it’s always something with me) and think they’re horrible. So many pieces to put together. So much shit to clean. Blech. Die, food processor, die.
This looks like a 10-year-old did it, huh? I was feeling a little hissy about the whole thing when I started the recipe so I guess I took it out on the butter. It’s exactly how I feel sometimes when I have to get dinner because everybody’s hungry. Or when I have to make a grocery list because that means that I have to have an idea of what we’re going to eat for the week and it’s all.on.me. I am put upon, people. PUT UPON.
This recipe is pretty easy seeing as how you just throw everything into the food processor and let it go to town. I should probably disclose that Shirley grated the cheese for me the day before when she was bored. I’m sure if I had to grate it I would have been bitching about how haaaaaard and time consuming this recipe was. Yes, I’m well aware that my food processor can also grate my cheese, but that involves using other parts (I have to find them first) and I’m busy. If by busy you mean reading gossip sites because you never know when Lindsey Lohan is going to find herself involved in some kind of debauchery that is NOT HER FAULT! Heh.
So it looks like this after you turn the damn thing on. Truth game: I have no idea why food processors have a pulse button. It annoys me and I always put it on ROAR! after a few seconds of shitting around with that dumb pulse mode.
This is what it looked like after I added the two tablespoons of cold water. Impressive, huh?
I dumped it out on some plastic wrap and used the wrap to form it into a ball. I think maybe I should have let it run some more in the food processor, but whatevs. I lost interest.
This is what it looked like when I threw it into the refrigerator (the recipe said for at least 20 minutes).
ATTENTION PLEASE: I started yakking with Rick and completely forgot about the goddamn ball o’ cheese and 45 minutes later I had AN ISSUE. DO NOT DO WHAT I DID! Pay attention to your ball o’ cheese or it will be like trying to roll out a grapefruit.
I have one of those silicon mats so I used that instead of parchment paper. Rick had to roll it out for me (see above where I mention that you should not forget about that ball o’ cheese in your refrigerator).
We peeled the plastic wrap off and I went to town with the pizza cutter to make it into squares.
This is what I used in place of the tooth-pick to poke holes in the crackers. Don’t ask. Then I just picked up the silicon mat, set it on the cookie sheet and threw it in the oven. You don’t have to move the crackers around or mess with them at all and I’m guessing that parchment paper would work out the same way.
They were a little too puffy for my liking. The really thin edges were fabulous though so I guess it’s a win if you make sure you roll the entire thing out really thin! Would I use this recipe again? Probably. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, but I like the idea of eating real food as opposed to a cracker that is sitting on a store shelf full of chemicals. But I would make absolutely sure that it was rolled super thin and then I would sprinkle salt over it before baking!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a food processor, shred/ grate your block of cheese (alternately, you could grate it by hand. What are you, a martyr?)
- In the same food processor, pulse everything except water together until it looks like coarse crumbs.
- While pulsing, add in water 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Remove from food processor, wrap in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Roll out dough as thinly as possible, and cut into squares (I used a pizza cutter). Use a toothpick, or the poking implement of your choice to poke a hole in the middle of each cracker.
- Place crackers on lined (Silpat or parchment paper) baking sheet. Place them fairly close together, as they do not really expand. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until crispy.