Monday, November 14, 2011

Time-Out: Homemade Cheez-Its

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If you haven't noticed, I've been big on the homemade snacks recently.  Sending out Halloween goody bags is always a great way to keep me entertained.  Plus I think M and her friends enjoy the homemade goodies.  It's the final few weeks until we see them all over Thanksgiving, and its a long time to be away!  I remember (though it was so long ago). 

Anyway, M's boyfriend M, is as picky of an eater as M herself.  They make a good match that way.  He doesn't really like snack food or dessert but he loves Cheez-its.  Halloween is mostly sweets and candy and that was my plan originally.  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt bad for boyfriend M.  In fact, he is on his own this year in an apartment style dorm.  That means he can cook but it's also harder for him, especially with a demanding class load.  What better thing to send then his favorite treat?

Of course I couldn't just buy the box and be done with it.  Although just to be sure, I DID send him a box of them along with these treats just in case.  But I do have confirmation that as much as he likes the boxed ones, mine were a big hit too (phew).  These are the perfect after-school snack for the kids, but don't be fooled--last week I was sitting at my desk eating some leftovers and lots of people were interested in trying them.  Which meant my half-cup snack turned into about 5 Cheez-its.  They are just too good to turn away.  And they are too easy not to make at home!

Homemade Cheez-Its (adapted from here)
Serves:  about 7 dozen cheese crackers (we had 80)
8 ounces cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons kosher salt

Grate the cheddar cheese.  In a food processor, combine cheese and butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Slowly add the flour, and then the water to the mixture while letting the food processor run.  Let it run an additional 30 seconds to one minute, until the dough is formed.  Separate the dough into two discs.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Working with one disc at a time, roll it out to 1/8th inch thick.  Using a pastry cutter or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 1-inch squares and use a toothpick to press a hole in the middle.  Separate the crackers onto cookie sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden.  Once cooled, store in airtight bags or containers until serving.

I was baking mine between 10 and 12 minutes, and would suggest to check them often.  We only got one pan of burnt ones (my fault) which was a bummer, but I shouldn't even need to tell you by now that John and I ate them anyway.

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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