Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Cheez-Its

or, Confessions of a Cracker Addict!

Homemade cheddary squares of addictive goodness. Betcha can't eat just one!

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to crackers. It’s my go-to junk food. It’s what I reach for instead of popcorn when watching a movie at home (in the theatre, too. Shhh! Don’t tell). My all-time favourite crackers are the tiny, orange, squares of cheddar-y goodness. They are like crack...ers. You know the ones I mean! I can easily inhale a whole box in one sitting. Afterwards, of course, there is the guilt that sets in. How many unpronounceable chemicals did I just consume? Is there an alternative where I know exactly what I am scarfing down? You know me — I didn’t stop looking until I found it. And I did.

These little gems of cheesiness are so flavourful and packed with flavour that you’ll never go back to the garbage-in-a-box. While they are not as crunchy as commercial crackers, they make up for it in freshness, wholesome ingredients and yup — they are as addictive as the original.

Mine! All mine!
 
For best results, use the sharpest, aged cheddar you can find. It doesn’t need to be orange. Kraft makes an Extra Old that’s not bad and Balderson’s makes a few varieties of aged cheddar that are very, very tasty. I haven’t tried making them with the McLaren’s cheese spread (the one in the red tub) but I bet it would be pretty good. These crackers do not keep well — you will need to consume them the same day they are made. You can see from the photos that the crackers puff up quite a bit, so roll your dough out as thin as you can — 1/8” or less. 

Cheese crackers, without all the crappy chemicals.


I hope you like these little crackers as much as I did. Now, it’s time for YOUR confession! Leave me a comment and let me know what’s your favourite cracker or salty snack.


Cheesy Crackers
Based on this recipe by Shop Girl
Ingredients:
8 oz. sharp or aged cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons ice water

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. In the bowl of a food processor with a blade attachments, mix together cheese, butter and half the salt until just mixed. 
  3. Add flour and mix until just blended. 
  4. While the processor is running, add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. 
  5. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap, flattening into a disc. Refrigerate discs for about 30 minutes. 
  6. On a floured board, roll out one disc of dough at a time, to about 1/8” thickness. 
  7. Using a fluted pastry roller, or a knife, but into 1” squares. 
  8. Place squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet. With a toothpick, make a hole in the centre of each square (optional). 
  9. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until crackers begin to slightly darken around the edges. 
  10. Cool completely before eating. 

Enjoy!

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Wonderful! My whole family gobbled them up! (added some paprika and it seemed to work)

mhratna said...

I was really hopeful about these crackers after recent success with making wheat thins, but I turned out to be disappointed :-( They tasted great the first day, but after 12 hours, they got all soft and soggy. Popping them back in the oven made them a little crunchier, but not much. I am bummed because they did taste quite good! Guess I'll stick to the wheat thins!

Madhav Reddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
devika rani said...

Thanks for sharing mouth watering information. Get the information to categories of ice creams and its flavors.