Homemade Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers – Fresh Baked Friday!

6 May

Mom doesn’t like the taste of artificially flavored cheese items.  This, coupled with the fact she wasn’t the biggest fan of processed foods when I was growing up, meant no Cheetos, no Doritos, no Cheez Its.  I know.  The horror.

Luckily, Grandma and Granddad had no such rules.  If you wanted a snack, you just had to make sure it was added to Grandma’s list and you were home free.

So my love for Cheez Its can be directly traced back to the basement of my grandparents home in New Carrollton.  The crunchy, cheesy, salty cracker.  Really, what’s not to love?

In fact, Grandma loves them so much that, to this day, at any given time, there is at least one box of Cheez Its up for grabs.  Sometimes she even gets crazy and buys the white cheddar (although, I’m not such a fan). 

So when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to try it.  The perfect opportunity came when I was visiting the baby in Vermont.  A homemade, whole wheat version of a traditional childhood snack?  Jess was in. 

Turns out, not only do Mr. C LOVE them, so did his dad and, wait for it… even my mom liked them!  If that’s not a testament, I don’t know what is!

Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers
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1 ½ cups (6 ounces) coarsely grated orange sharp cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup whole wheat flour
⅛ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon table salt

Directions…
Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Run the machine until the dough forms a ball, about 2 minutes.

If the dough feels warm or too soft, wrap it in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill for 30-45 minutes.  This will make it easier to transfer the shapes when they are rolled out.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to ⅛-inch thick.  Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out the shapes, dipping the cutter into flour from time to time.  Gently transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about a ½ inch between each cracker.  Poke  a whole to help the crackers not puff up during baking. *

Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes, or until they are barely browned at the edges.  Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

Enjoy!

*Next time I make these I will sprinkle a little extra salt on top of the crackers before baking, a la the original Cheez Its.

Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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