Who doesn't like Cheez-Its? It was an eye opener this year when I realized just how many different flavors of Cheez-Its there were on the market these days. One of my favorite is the smoked cheddar, but alas, that flavor you cannot buy in a box yet....too bad as that one I would definitely indulge in instead of trying to reproduce the crackers at home. Since I learned to bake with my grandma when I was young, I have tried to recreate things that I love to smell in the kitchen and of course eat as well!
I came across the book Real Snacks by Lara Ferroni which covers a lot of the snacks that I grew up with, but this book shows how to make them from scratch. Coworkers always thought I was crazy to make things at home that take time in order to be able to make things from scratch, when you can spend just a few dollars and buy them in a box at the store. Cooking and baking really isn't about that for me. I like to cook and bake when I am stressed, when I feel like I need some good food to eat in the warm of my kitchen, when I want to be creative, and really just to see if I can do it. This cheese cracker recipe is somewhat time consuming for the amount of crackers it makes, but in the end I thought it was well worth the effort.
5 ounces cheddar cheese, finely shredded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon ground dehydrated onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (cheese, butter, flour, onion powder, salt and milk). (NOTE: I used dried onions and then ground them in a coffee bean grinder to a fine dust for the onions...in essence it is onion powder.) Mix all ingredients into a ball. You can do this by hand or in a food processor. At this point you can wrap it and refrigerate for ease of rolling or roll it our straight away. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll to about 1/8 inch thick. Brush the dough with milk. Cut the dough into inch squares. Make a hole in the center of each cracker. Bake on prepared pans for about 10 minutes or until the crackers are golden brown on the edges. The crackers will puff up as they bake. Do not over back them as they get crisper once they cool. Cool completely before eating. Enjoy!