Tuesday, May 24, 2016

3 Ingredient Homemade Cheeze-Its

This week I decided not to refill the kids "snack box." They get to pick out one after school every day, but the choices were things like cookies, chips and, you guessed it, cheeze-its.

So I got all ambitious this week and was like hey, surely I can come up with snack box level deliciousness that won't cost my kids health quite so much. I stumbled on these homemade cheeze-its and thought well, at least these aren't going to be packed with over 20 crap ingredients.

The very best part about these? My kids LOVED them! My husband said they taste exactly like Cheeze It's....just....fresher. You're basically just eating baked cheese :). I call this a 3 ingredient recipe, but technically there's 4 if you count the 2 T water.....so...sorry I lied to you.

A few notes about this recipe:

On a scale of 1-10, the crunch/crispy factor was at about 7 with my first batch (I purposely baked small batches so I could do test runs first and not ruin them all at once). I made sure my cheese and butter were both room temperature so I thought about other ways to get them crispier. I tried rolling out the dough even thinner and baked them for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe says. (That was weird, considering that I usually have to cut my cooking time for most recipes with how my oven is). I also turned on the broiler for a minute at the end and I think that kicked up the score to a 9.

After using the 2 T of water like the recipe said, the mixture still looked dry and crumbly in the food processor. I decided to feel it and see how it was doing. It was PERFECT! So, make sure you feel the dough after the initial 2 T, you should be able to mold it all together into a smooth ball. It was a lot like play-dough. Hey.....a play dough recipe I won't panic if my 1 1/2 year old eats! Wahoo!

There was no specifics on how long to chill the dough. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes the first time (remember that was the batch that resulted in a 7 on the crispy scale). So I left the dough in the freezer about 20 minutes the next couple times around. I think that helped!

I added some kosher salt to the crackers right before I put them in the oven on my last two batches. the first batch wasn't salty enough for me even with the original recipe calling for 1 tsp. salt. So I would just skip that part and add crunchy salt to the tops instead (but I have an insane salt tooth so judge it for yourself!)

All in all, make sure you're rolling the dough out thin enough and chilling the dough long enough and these will be perfection!

What you will need:
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, room temp.
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 4 T butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 2 T ice water
  • Add grated cheese, flour, butter and optional salt into a food processor and pulse until it's blended into a fine crumbly mixture
  • Add in the water and blend until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the processor (will probably still look crumbly, but FEEL IT for a playdough-like consistency first before adding more water) 
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Shape dough into a ball and chill in plastic wrap until dough is more firm (keeping mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes I think gave me the best results)
  • Roll the dough to 1/8" thick and slice with a pizza cutter into little squares
  • Use a toothhpick or skewer to poke holes into the middles
  • Add salt if desired
  • Bake for about 15 minutes and check every 5 minutes after that until they are desired crispiness

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