Inspired by the lovely Cara at Forks and Beans, this recipe for homemade “Cheez-It’s” was made the week before Halloween so excuse the late Halloween shapes…the cheese crackers are delish and can be cut into any shape – squares, circles, pumpkins, leaves, unicorns…ha, just seeing if you were still reading 🙂
I admit it, my first batch was a fail…I doubled the batch since Cara mentioned that these would go quickly and I thought I was being proactive. Apparently, I didn’t read the directions closely enough (my fault!), which is classic when I am trying to multi-task. I didn’t space them out like Cara specifically stated so they cooked into one big blob. Not to mention, I took a work phone call shortly after I put these crackers in the oven…This is one of the before shots:
Little cats, hats, bats (I am rhyming!) and frankensteins…and sadly, the following is post-bake. Won’t I ever learn to stay in the kitchen and watch my recipes closely in the oven while I am testing a new recipe? Nope, I guess not since I got distracted and way over-baked them…boo (no, not the Halloween “Boo!”), what a bummer!
At this point, I was very low on cheese and had to make a small test batch but I am happy to report they turned out beautifully and incredibly delicious! While the mini Halloween cookie-cutters were fun to use and cute, it made the recipe more time consuming. I had strange-shaped excess cracker pieces from the cut outs and I was too lazy to re-form into another ball and cut out more shapes….which left me with a very small yield.
The test batch made more than four crackers but the “ugly” scrapes from the cutouts were also consumed and I wound up with scraps + about 12 crackers that I eagerly ate in one sitting. Next time (and there will be soon), I will be making a large batch! These are addicting and delicious alone but would also pair well with your favorite dip if you wish!
Homemade Baked Cheez-Its (adapted and inspired from Fork and Beans)
6 Tbsp sorghum flour + additional for dusting*
3 Tbsp tapioca starch*
3 Tbsp coconut flour*
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or for vegan use Daiya vegan “cheese”)
3 Tbsp unsalted organic butter or ghee (or Earth Balance butter for vegan)
two shakes of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 Tbsp ice water*
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a food processor, mix butter and cheese together until crumbly.
3. Add remaining ingredients and process until forms a thick mixture that starts to come together in a ball.
4. Place ball of dough on a piece of floured parchment paper and lightly knead until a smooth ball is made. Divide dough in half and place 1 of the 1/2s in a bowl and put in the fridge. Roll out 1/2 of dough with a rolling pin (I put an extra piece of parchment paper over it to ensure it didn’t stick). Roll thin (about 1/4″ or so).
5. With a pastry cutter, small cookie cutters (these have squiggly lines that give the fun shape to the cracker) pattern out the shapes of the squares, going horizontally and diagonally.
6. Take a stainless steel spatula and slowly and gently place each cracker on top of a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure you give about 1/2″ worth of room per cracker. This might be the longest part of the process but you do want to go slowly in order to maintain the shape. Place the crackers on the baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt if desired and place in the freezer for 10 minutes while you repeat the same process for the next 1/2 of dough.
7. Bake crackers for 12-20 minutes, watching them closely to avoid burning**. ENJOY!
If you’re like me, I bet you will be tempted to eat them all in one sitting 🙂