Homemade Cheez-Its

by amy on 19 November 2012

i recently took a work trip to Chicago + while traveling, i got a case of the hungries, so i bought a mini-box of Cheez-Its. while i loved their salty cheesiness, i did not appreciate the strange chemical flavor they seemed to have, nor did i dig the lengthy list of ingredients on the side of the box. so, when i arrived home from my trip, i decided to try making them from scratch. and lo + behold, less than an hour + a mere 4 ingredients later, i had absolutely amazing homemade Cheez-Its!

y’all, these crackers are AMAZING! while they’re reminiscent of their mass-produced cousins, they’re different in some seriously good ways. they have such a bright, sharp, real cheese flavor with a crazy addictive buttery, melt-in-your-mouth consistency. my husband + i taste-tested these side-by-side with the store-bought kind + both agreed that the homemade version is on a whole different level – leaps + bounds tastier. the great news is, with only four ingredients + such an easy preparation, the homemade crackers are just as simple to prepare as they are delicious to eat!

Homemade Cheez-Its

makes about 7-8 dozen crackers, adapted from katrina’s kitchen + cooking ala mel

ingredients

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups coarsely grated) good-quality sharp cheddar, orange-colored if you want an authentic Cheez-It appearance
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional: additional salt for sprinkling on top)

directions

combine all ingredients in a food processor, running the machine until the dough forms a ball, about two minutes. shape the dough into two separate disks, wrap in plastic wrap, + chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

while the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350°F.

when dough is cool, place between two pieces of wax paper, parchment paper, or silicone mats, + using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. using a pastry wheel (to get the fancy edges seen above) or a pizza wheel, cut the dough into a grid of 1-inch squares. use a toothpick or skewer to punch a hole into the center of each square. (note: as a salty snack lover, i sprinkled a bit of additional salt on top at this point.)

return the cut dough (still on the parchment/waxed paper/silicone mat) to the refirgerator for 10 minutes – this allows the dough to firm back up, which makes it super easy to transfer the individual crackers to a baking sheet prior to baking.

transfer individual crackers to a parchment or silicone mat-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2-inch between crackers. bake at 350°F for 11-14 minutes, until crackers are puffed up + just starting to turn golden at the edges.

if you pull them out too soon + the crackers don’t have the desired crispiness you want, simply return them to the oven for 1-2 more minutes. remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a wire rack to cool.

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen @ notsodomesticated November 19, 2012 at 6:40 am

Girl, you’re putting the rest of us to shame!! ;) Cheez-Its are one of my husband’s favorite snacks. I can’t show him this post, or else he’ll be begging for these!! :)

2 Beth November 19, 2012 at 7:04 am

These look adorable, and I love the much healthier ingredient list. I’ll be making these soon!

3 luv what you do November 19, 2012 at 8:09 am

I hope you had a good trip to Chicago!
My boyfriend LOVES cheeseits and I should def try to make these for him. Great idea to use the pizza wheel. They look so authentic!

4 Jocelyn @BruCrew Life November 19, 2012 at 8:30 am

This is awesome. My husband loves Cheez-its too, but I have never been crazy about the taste. My little guy is home from school today and looking over my shoulder saying how good these look:-) I love how easy they seem to make!!!

5 amy November 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

You should match a bake with your little guy! They’re super easy to make + I bet he’d love helping with the cutting + hole-punching. =)

6 Amber @ Caleigh's Kitchen November 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

Oh no, going to have to try these out. Doug LOVES cheez-its! They look great!

7 elizabeth @ chronic venture November 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

I NEED to make these. I absolutely love cheez-its and I know they are just horrible for me. These would be great to have on hand, and such a simple, easy recipe!

8 Megan November 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

OMG these are adorable!

9 Kathryn November 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

I can’t believe these only have 4 ingredients! I bet they’re impossible to stop eating!

10 amy November 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

they are! it took some serious restraint for my husband + i to stop eating them long enough for me to snap these pictures! =)

11 danielle November 19, 2012 at 9:22 am

I can’t believe how easy this is – I have never made crackers before but I may attempt this one.

12 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) November 19, 2012 at 9:57 am

Wow Amy…these turned out perfect. I’m impressed! And I know exactly what you mean about tasting things now and not enjoying that chemical flavor.

13 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie November 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

They look absolutely perfect

14 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel November 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

It’s embarrassing how many boxes of Cheezits we go through a week! We stock them like craaaaazy. And we def. need to kick those red boxes out and make these! They look so delicious and cheesy.

15 claire @ the realistic nutritionist November 19, 2012 at 10:48 am

BAHH!!! this is awesome Amy!!!

16 Lesley Eats November 19, 2012 at 10:56 am

You really did a great job on making these look fantastic! Somewhat similar to my cheese straws. That said, I have a few suggestions for you (well, your readers) for next time:

1. Not sure what cheese you used, but Cabot’s Seriously Sharp is my favorite for this kind of thing. If you don’t use good cheese, it will be noticeable.

2. Add some cayenne. But not too much. :)

17 amy November 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

Thanks for the tips, Lesley. i agree – a good-quality, very sharp cheddar is ideal. I will definitely look for the Cabot cheese next time i make these – I love their cheeses. And good suggestion on the cayenne for just a hint of heat!

18 Nicole @ Lapetitebaker November 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

MMM I love Cheeze-Its! However, I have grown to hate the chemically after taste. So this recipe came in the nick of time and only 4 ingredients means I know what I am putting in my body. Winner on all sides!

19 Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie November 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

Eeee! I loved Cheez-Its as a kid, but now they just don’t do it for me – probably due to the same reasons you listed above! I love that you made you own minus all the funky ingredients! I will have to make these some time, my husband would go nuts!

PS – You made the most perfect squares! I can’t get over how cute they are!

20 Ashley@bakerbynature November 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

Amy – you’re a rockstar! Seriously, these look incredible.

21 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Homemade cheez its?! YES PLEASE! I’m obsessed with these! I could eat an entire box in one sitting! So glad I could make this homemade. I’m sure its 100000000x better than the store-bought kind!

22 Chrissy November 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Cheez-Its are one of my guilty pleasures (I rarely buy them because I can go through a box in one sitting if I’m not careful), so I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

23 amy November 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

That’s the great thing about this recipe – it’s easy to halve/quarter the recipe, so you can make a smaller amount if you can’t trust yourself with a full batch. =)

24 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl November 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I’ve been wanting to make homemade cheez its forever. These are my son’s all-time favorite snack, so I guess I should be a good mom and make these for him. :-) Yours turned out just perfectly–and I can’t believe how easy they are to make! You rock, girl!

25 Steph@TheChickpeaChickadee November 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

These look SO good and adorable! I bet I could make a whole bowl of them disappear really fast! They would make great Christmas gifts. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

26 Nik@A Brown Table November 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

This looks wonderfully easy and simple to make. Thank you for sharing this.

27 CJ at Food Stories November 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Although, my family used to eat these by the case, I have never been a cheez-it fan … Your recipe does look tempting, though :-)

28 jackie @ Domestic Fits November 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

My daughter would go craaaaazy for these. Love it!

29 Angela @ AnotherBitePlease November 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

oh my gosh I love this! and a reason for me to buy another kitchen tool – pastry wheel! and I totally agree with you I love cheez its but not that awful full of crap taste – your recipe looks so yummy and I bet my boys would have a hard time stop eating them too.

30 Jen @ Savory Simple November 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I am so making these!

31 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction November 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I never realized how it was to make these! Definitely need to try these soon!

32 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel November 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

You forgot the secret ingredient: crack! Because omg seriously. They didn’t last long here.

33 amy November 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

BAHAHAHA, love it! i bet in a house full of kiddos, these would go insanely quickly!

34 sally @ sallys baking addiction November 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

a case of the hungries! lol Amy you’re hysterical. Cheez its would be my snack of choice too – but they aren’t the smartest option. i’ve never looked at the ingredients though – and now, I definitely won’t be looking at it! I’ve never made my own crackers before! you make it look so easy!

35 Sammie November 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm

whaaaaaaaaat?!?!?! no way!! your cheez-its look so nice I can’t even tell that it’s home-made! You used a pastry wheel for those? They’re like cut with surgical precision!! Every piece looks identical to the next!! Great job Amy!! :D

36 amy November 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Aww, thank you Sammie! And yes, the pastry wheel did all the work for me – really! They were such a cinch to make!

37 Choc Chip Uru November 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm

What a perfect snack I love it :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

38 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious November 20, 2012 at 12:37 am

That’s it!! 4 lousy ingredients to make my own cheez-its!! I’m so mad buying the mass produced chemical ones all these times. Thanks for this handy dandy recipe..

39 Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen November 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

I have been wanting to see this post ever since the sneak peak on Instagram! How easy and yummy! This is great. Thanks for sharing

40 JulieD November 20, 2012 at 9:27 am

So cute and I want these now!!

41 sarah k @ the pajama chef November 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

i’ve always wanted to make my own cheezits! yum!

42 Erin @ Texanerin Baking November 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I really wish I could use caps on here. I’m extremely excited! Cheez-its are my favorite junk food. And these are the prettiest homemade ones I’ve seen! They really look like Cheez-its. I make whole grain ones sometimes and they’re just so darn good I eat the whole batch in a day (minus about a dozen crackers that I tell my husband to hide). It’s sad. I just can’t stop. So so so good.

43 amy November 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Awww, thank you so much – I’m so flattered that my version gets the “prettiest homemade” award from you – that makes my day! =)

44 Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake November 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

These are so cute! Love the way you cut them! And I’m in love with the fact that these have 4 ingredients!!

45 Blond Duck November 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Homemade cheese its! I used to eat a box of cheese its a day when I was in high school. I LOVE them.

46 Amy (Savory Moments) November 21, 2012 at 6:28 am

Great job on these! I used to love cheez-its and would love to try to make them myself.

47 Anna @ Hidden Ponies November 24, 2012 at 12:48 am

Ok, I’ve always thought homemade crackers sounded ridiculous and difficult – I have to try these, I can’t believe that short ingredient/instruction list!! Love this!

48 Jess November 25, 2012 at 10:06 am

How cute! I’m not the biggest fan of cheez-its but I bet homemade ones are awesome! Especially maybe with some seasoning!

49 Karen (Back Road Journal) November 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Four ingredients…and you make it sound so easy. They look perfect!

50 Tracey November 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Wow, these are just beyond impressive Amy!! I never would have guessed they were homemade, they look so perfect! I bet they taste a million times better too :)

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