I have a genetic disorder that causes me to have an obsessive love for Cheez-its. It came from my dad’s side of the family – he will eat a whole box in one sitting when my mom isn’t around to stop him. She doesn’t usually let him buy Cheez-its, but when Brian and I are coming to visit, he uses us as an excuse. Cheez-its are a “special occasion” kind of food in our family. But that excuse doesn’t hold as much clout now that I can’t eat them, and Brian likes them, but doesn’t particularly love them the way my dad and I do. So now my dad can’t even pretend that we are the reason Cheez-its got added to the grocery list.
Dad, these are for you. xoxo
recipe from GF in the city
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), cold and cubed
3 tablespoons cold water
* I recommend shredding your own block of cheese, rather than using the packaged pre-shredded stuff.
Put the flours, gum, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
Add the cheese and butter and pulse until it looks like a coarse meal.
Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough forms into a ball. Be careful not to add too much water.
Take the dough out of the food processor, split in two, and form the two halves into discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for about a half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350, unwrap the dough, and put it on a piece of parchment paper. Roll it out until it is pretty thin, about 1/8 inch. I found it was easier to roll the dough with a piece of plastic wrap on top to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.
Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small squares (or if you have a cute tiny goldfish cookie cutter that would work too). Cut the jagged edges off, ball them up, and reroll until you have used all the dough. You might have to refrigerate the scraps to chill them before continuing to work with them.
If you are feeling crafty, you can use the tines of a fork to make indentations on the edges and a hole in the middle to make them look like the Cheez-its we know and love. I did this for one cookie sheet full, but didn’t have the patience to do them all.
Put the pieces on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350, until the edges are browned. Watch them carefully after 10 minutes, the browning happens quickly. If you want them extra crunchy, cook a little longer until the whole thing is browned.
Brag to your friends about your homemade cheez crackers.