Copycat Cheez-It Cheese Crackers – A Delicious Alternative in the Short Run

The kids around here love those Cheez-It crackers, so I thought it might be fun to try to make them at home without all of the preservatives and artificial color using this recipe that I found on the boards. The original blogger used white cheddar cheese, but the recipe could work with almost any kind of cheese in the Cheddar family, and I went with Colby Jack. The photo on Pinterest is not available to use here, but you can see it if you click on the recipe link.

Ingredients:
8oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1C all purpose flour
2 tbsp cold water
Red pepper flakes* (optional, for spicier crackers)
Course sea salt for sprinkling

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cheese, butter, shortening and salt on medium-high speed. Reduce speed to medium, slowly add flour and water. If adding red pepper flakes, do so now.

Continue mixing until dough is smooth.

Divide dough into two, creating discs and wrapping in plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness. using a ruler as a guide, cut long horizontal strips. Rotate ruler to slice vertically, creating squares. Carefully transfer individual squares to prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Using a toothpick or cake tester, create holes in the center of each square.

Sprinkle with course salt.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. I removed mine at 12 minutes. The time will depend on the thickness of your squares as well as the crispness you prefer. Watch your oven closely from 10 minutes on.

Best eaten the same day. Store remainder in an airtight container.

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So I got the Colby Jack and started shredding,

and used the whole eight ounces.

The cheese was then mixed with the butter and shortening.

Next, the flour was added.

Then I divided the dough into two balls, wrapped them in Saran Wrap, and put them in the fridge for half an hour.

Once they had chilled, I flattened them out, and using a ruler, cit them into equal squares, more or less. My ruler was a little big, so I ended up with the Big Cheez-It kind of crackers.

Then they baked for fifteen minutes.

Right out of the oven, they were delicious, though they didn’t keep well, even in an airtight container. The next day they were soft, not cracker-like at all. I’d say if you are going to make these, it would be best to do it for a party, or an evening when they will all go and you will have none left over.

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