Cheese It’s Nasty Outside

We’ve had two days without rain since December 26, 2022. It’s now January 14, 2023. This leaves a lot of time for baking and little time for golf.

Today, I made a Cheese-It clone crackers. They are quick to make, create very little mess, such that the kitchen can be clean before they finish baking, and are a delicious game-day treat.

The one caution is be sure they are well baked. They should be turning brown to be sure they will have the proper crunch.

I rolled them to about 1/8” thick, maybe a little thicker. At this thickness they were easy to transfer to the silicone covered baking sheet. My straight edge is about 1.25” wide which baked down to just about 1”.

At this size the recipe made about 4 dozen crackers.

Cheez-Its Recipe

INGREDIENTS
• 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
• 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup flour
• 2 Tablespoons ice water
• Coarse salt for sprinkling

METHOD

  1. Combine cheese, butter, shortening, and salt in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The mixture will be crumbly.
  2. Add flour in four aliquots and then the ice water. You may add a few more drops of water to help it come together but don’t to add too much. You don’t want a slack dough.
  3. Pat the dough into 2 discs, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375⁰F.
  5. Using silicone mat roll each disc to 1/8 inch or less and sprinkle with coarse salt. I like to gently roll the salt into the dough.
  6. Cut into 1 inch squares (a pastry wheel or pizza wheel is easiest). Punch a hole into the center of each square. (I use a sharpened chopstick (that I use to pierce choux pastry.)
  7. If you have difficulty separating and transferring the crackers onto the baking sheet return the mat to the refrigerator for 10 minutes (while you roll out the 2nd dough disc).
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and browning around the edges. If they aren’t the crispness you want, return them
    to the oven for 2-3 more minutes. Keep checking every 2 minutes until they are done. I take one out of the oven and set it in the fridge for a minute to try them. Hey, someone has to do it.
  9. Move crackers to a cooling rack. Makes about 5-6 dozen crackers.

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