Monday, July 4, 2011

cheez-its (the hillbilly way)

Brother Measa has a cheez-its addiction and a few days back I mentioned that there was a recipe for them online. Needless to say, we had to try and make them yesterday.

Since we did not want to fire up the oven to bake them we tried to half bake them like I do everything else on the top of the out door stove. They sucked to put it bluntly! Since we had only used half of the dough for the first batch we had enough for a second attempt at cooking them and we decided to deep fry those bad boys instead. They came out much better than the first method as they were light, airy and crispy.

Yes, yes, I know, how dare we do that to a wonderful snack! But, it ain't like they are exactly a healthy snack to begin with so we did not see the big deal in doing what we did. Besides, we all know everything is better deep fried!

We started with the following recipe but if deep frying I see no need to add the butter to the recipe as it is simply a waste of money and it makes the dough rather difficult to roll out.
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 (8-ounce) bag grated extra-sharp 2% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour, butter, cheese, salt, and cayenne in bowl.Add water tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together (You may not use all the water).Wrap dough in plastic wrap, press into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat working surface with flour (original recipe said to use parchment paper, it was a disaster!) Roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares. Carefully transfer squares onto baking sheets (or deep fryer). Bake for 20-25 minutes turning once. If deep frying, they take about a minute to cook).

We decided that a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on the finished crackers would make a very tasty addition to them and if one did not want to add the cheese to the recipe at all it would cut the cost down on making them and make them a much more versatile cracker all the way around. You could add a touch of cinnamon to the dough then shake in sugar after frying, add popcorn seasoning to them or ranch dressing mix to them. The options are nearly endless.

Remember, these crackers have no preservatives in them so they will not keep like store bought and should be eaten within a couple days, not that I think they would last more than a few hours in a typical household. Store in an airtight container. If crackers are soggy after storing, re-crisp them in a preheated 400º oven for 3 to 5 minutes.


  1. I make these quite often now, and I've had pretty good success with the recipe. The differences between your method and mine is that I used waxed paper and the dough comes off nice and easy. I bake mine in the oven @350 and I usually let them go a bit longer than the recipe calls for, and don't turn them, but use a cookie sheet with foil on it (shiny side up), and pull them before they get crisp(they seem to crisp up a bit while resting/cooling. Also, did you take a toothpick and poke the little trademark hole in the middle? I believe that helps it from puffing up as much, keeping it flatter and crisper. YMMV

  2. nah nate i didnt poke a hole in center.. we wanted them poofier but i think maybe the half baking thing simply will not work.. remember i only have a wood oven and stove to cook on so convenience tends to be the goal of most things when i "bake". I refuse to use wood in crazy amounts to cook one or two small items so i do most things on the stove top and have pretty good success.

  3. They wouldn't last long in this house.. your an inspiration, you know this right :-)

    Aussie camp oven info and a couple of recipes. I do like a good damper!
    Friday :)