Homemade Cheese-Its

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A lot of the great books I’ve come across in life have been through my love of NPR. The other day on my way to pick up Ethan, I listened while Jennifer Reese talked about her cookbook, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter on The Faith Middleton Show. It’s a terrific book about all the wonderful things you never quite thought to make yourself, like marshmallow fluff and ginger ale.

I love puttering around my kitchen, so it’s no surprise that I’d want to get right down to it and make as many things from scratch as there are hours in the day.

I started my adventure with her recipe for homemade Cheez-Its, which required me to purchase my very first bottle of Worcestershire sauce.

IMG_1182It takes no time at all to prepare these little bites of cheesy goodness. Even less time if you are blessed with a food processor.

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The best part for me was grating a half block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese. I love grating cheese. I know, I’m peculiar.

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The cheese speckled orange dough is shaped into a disk and refrigerated for an hour.

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Once chilled, it’s rolled out and placed on a cookie sheet, holes are made and these babies are ready to be baked and then eaten!

Homemade Cheez-Its

(Recipe adapted from make the bread, buy the butter)

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Place the butter, cheese, salt, pepper and cayenne in a food processor and pulse until the butter is broken up into bits. (I used a pastry blender until little bits formed.) Add the flour and pulse until well combined. Add the Worcestershire sauce and pulse again. The dough should be moist and come together in your hands. (Since I used a pastry blender through this process, I had to work the dough quite a bit to get it to come together.)

Knead the dough until forms a ball. Pat it into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Roll dough out to a scant 1/4 inch thick. (I should have rolled mine thinner!) Cut the dough into 1 inch squares.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. The crackers won’t expand, so they can be tightly placed. Make a small hole in the center of each cracker with a skewer.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the crackers darken a bit. Cool completely on a rack and store in a cookie tin for up to a week.

Makes 70-80 crackers.

IMG_1196Enjoy!

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