Cheese Crackers

These crackers are packed with cheese flavor, even if they aren’t bright orange. For a traditional Cheddar flavor, use a good sharp Cheddar (I like Beecher’s Flagship). Or go a little crazy and use a stronger cheese like Camembert. Not surprisingly, these don’t translate well without real cheese. Do not attempt to make a vegan version of them.

For gluten-free Cheesy Squares, replace the whole grain spelt and all-purpose flours with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose baking mix. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment for easier rolling.–Lara Ferroni

LC Cheez-Its, Er, Cheese Crackers Note

Yup. We went there. Admit it. You’re awfully glad we did. No preservatives. No artificial colors. Just cheesy crackers.

Cheese Crackers Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes about 70 crackers

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or whole grain spelt flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose or white spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 tablespoons milk, plus more for brushing
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 2. Combine the cheese, wheat or whole grain spelt flour, all-purpose or white spelt flour, butter, milk, onion powder, if using, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Pulse to form a ball, 1 to 2 minutes. If the dough appears oily from the cheese, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  • 3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll it to 1/8- to 1/16-inch thickness. Lightly brush the dough with the milk. Using a pastry wheel or knife, cut the dough into 1-by-1-inch squares. Prick the center of each cracker with a skewer. Place the crackers on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least a 1/2 inch between crackers.
  • 4. Bake until the crackers are just slightly brown on the edges, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. The crackers will crisp up as they cool, so be careful not to overbake them. Cool the crackers completely on a wire rack.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Tracey G.

Jan 28, 2013

These crackers were made and devoured in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Easy to make and addictive to eat, I’d definitely double the recipe in the future. Take the time to roll out the dough to the suggested thickness so that the crackers turn out crisp. I added a pinch of fleur de sel to the crackers when they came out of the oven and it was the perfect finishing touch.

Testers Choice
Kim M.

Jan 28, 2013

These cheese crackers are so easy and delicious. I whipped them up in just a matter of minutes. The dough rolled out hassle free and cut easily with a pastry wheel. I used grated sharp Cheddar straight out of a bag and the flavor was great. The crackers hardly had time to cool before they were gone, and my family has already requested that I make this recipe again. Because it’s so simple, I’m sure the recipe will become a frequent favorite at our house.

Testers Choice
Sheri C.

Jan 28, 2013

These are delicious little crackers, with a perfect cheese flavor and a lovely texture. I used sharp Cheddar, but I kept thinking how great they would be if made with Manchego or any other favorite cheese. The recipe is simple to make and the dough is easy to work with. I recommend rolling these out as thin as possible; mine were 1/8 inch thick and baked up in 8 minutes. I wouldn’t have wanted them any thicker .If you’re married to the idea of cheese crackers having that familiar orange glow, I’m thinking that the addition of a bit of annatto to the dough would satisfy you just fine. As I was making these crackers, I was also thinking the rolled and cut squares would freeze really well. Might be a good thing to have in the freezer for surprise visitors.

Testers Choice
Eydie Desser

Jan 28, 2013

These are so much better tasting and healthier than the store-bought Cheez-It crackers. I plan to make these for my niece and nephew since they love the Cheez-It version. A little aunty love via healthier snacks. Also, I’ve been wanting to try a recipe with gluten-free flour, and the cookbook author suggested its use. So I used the GF flour that Thomas Keller uses (I bought it at Williams-Sonoma). The dough was very easy to whiz up in the food processor.

It’s a little labor intensive to cut it into perfect 1-inch squares (mine weren’t perfect), but they baked up nicely. The recipe says not to overbake, so I baked one batch for exactly 10 minutes as the recipe stated. They were cheesy, not browned, crisp, but not real crunchy. The second batch I baked 90 seconds longer until they were lightly browned, and they crisped up even better and had a more delicious flavor. So go ahead and overbake them! But that might be the case when using GF flour.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

Jan 28, 2013

Very easy and very tasty. I baked my second pan of crackers a couple of minutes longer because I like them really crunchy. I plan to try it with different types of cheeses and maybe make the crackers have multiple dots, like dice.

Testers Choice
Melissa Maedgen

Jan 28, 2013

I made a gluten-free version of these crackers and they were so delicious, I ate about 2/3 of them by myself right off the baking sheet. These are really very easy to make. The cooking time specified in the recipe was spot on. Don’t be tempted to bake them a little longer to achieve browning. Trust the recipe, because they do continue to brown and crisp up after they come out of the oven. I let one sheet of crackers go a little longer, and the resulting toasted flavor interfered with the cheesy goodness. I did use the onion powder called for in the recipe. It’s a small amount and doesn’t add an overwhelming flavor, but it does add a certain something, so I’d recommend using it.

I do have some reservations about recipes that instruct you to convert to gluten-free by substituting a commercial gluten-free baking mix, because the mixes out there vary so much in ingredients. Particularly xanthan gum, which some mixes have already mixed in, and some do not. This is a recipe that is better made without xanthan gum. I used ½ cup of King Arthur’s gluten-free “multi-purpose flour”, and ¼ cup of teff flour, to get more of a whole-wheat look. This worked admirably. But I don’t normally have the King Arthur blend on hand, so next time, I will probably use ¼ cup tapioca starch, ¼ cup fine brown rice flour, and ¼ cup teff flour.

Testers Choice
Karen Lynch

Jan 28, 2013

These cheesy squares are easy to make and full of flavor. I will be making this recipe again and experimenting with different types of cheese and maybe adding some herbs or spices.

Comments
Comments
  1. Amanda says:

    I made these this afternoon using white whole wheat flour (next time will try the spelt) and sharp cheddar (next time will try a mix of sharp cheddar and pepper jack!). My 2- and 4-year-old both loved these little crackers. They were easy to make and very tasty. I found that the thinner you roll the dough, the better, as thicker ones will puff up and not get very crispy. However, if I baked super thin ones for the full ten mins, they burned a little. The crispy/burned ones tasted the most like store-bought cheez-its. Overall, I like these, but will shoot for more consistency with thickness next time.

    • Beth Price says:

      Perfect plan, Amanda. Sometimes baking and cooking just require a little bit of tweaking to personal taste.

  2. Carolyn D. says:

    Easy and delicious, I made them because we are trying not to eat any processed foods and my kids love Cheez its. These are so good, I almost ate them all by myself!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lovely to hear it, Carolyn D.! We, too, find it hard to stop snacking on these little lovelies by the handful….

  3. Deity says:

    Can I use my blender to make this recipe? My processer is too small.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

*

Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail