DIY Cheez-its.

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The Cheez-it. America’s (or at least my family’s) favorite guilty pleasure snack. One of those things you know is bad for you but once you open that red and orange box it’s literally impossible to have just a handful. You continue to munch until you’ve made yourself ill. Groan.

So hey, why not try to make these little crack-like snacks at home. Then you won’t even have to hit the grocery store to get your fix. Just preheat the oven!

For the mean little cheese cracker everyone loves:

Equipment: food processor, fluted pastry cutter, ruler, toothpick, rolling pin, parchment paper
1 cup flour + more for rolling out the dough
4 T (2 oz.) cold butter cut into small pieces
8 oz. shredded sharp yellow cheddar
¾ t salt
¼ t dried mustard
¼ t paprika
¼ t cayenne
2 T + cold water

Pulse all ingredients except for the water in a food processor. Pulse until it’s reached a crumbly texture. Continue to pulse a few more times while adding the water. Remove the dough from the food processor, shape into a disk, wrap it well in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough is chilled roll it out on a piece of parchment paper cut to fit your sheet pan. Roll it as thin as possible – about 1/8” thick. Using a ruler and fluted pastry cutter cut the dough into squares.To insure they even look like the real deal poke a hole in the center of each square. You can leave them in formation – they won’t expand much and they’ll easily break apart once baked. Transfer the parchment to your sheet pan and bake for 18-22 minutes. They’re done when the tops are brown and the bottoms are crisp.
Making these killer little crackers in Baked’s kitchen one afternoon I couldn’t help but make a second batch especially for Molly, our kitchen manager. She loves oregano. I simply swapped out the yellow cheddar for white and added 2 T of dried oregano for the other spices. After some informal polling around the kitchen we weren’t sure which variation we liked better – they were both so so snackable!

*Caution: this recipe may be habit forming.