Cheese crackers—just like Cheez-It crackers—are relatively healthy and homemade with real ingredients that don’t include artificial colors, preservatives, hidden sugars, or multi-syllabic factory-made flavor enhancers.
Yup. We went there. To that homemade cheese crackers place. You know. Like Cheez-It crackers. No preservatives. No artificial colors. No lurid neon glow. Just real ingredients and cheesy crunchy awesomeness.–Renee Schettler
- 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 oz) unsalted butter cold
- 2 tablespoons milk, preferably whole milk plus more for brushing
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake the crackers, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking, just until the crackers are slightly brown at the edges, about 10 minutes.
- The crackers will crisp up as they cool, so be careful not to overbake them, although if you like your crackers extra crunchy, leave them in the oven for 11 to 12 minutes. Gently move the crackers to a wire rack and cool completely.
Cheese Cracker variations
Non-Cheddar Cheese CrackersYou can go a little crazy and use a stronger cheese, like Camembert, as the author suggests. Although we also think the recipe would work well with all manner of other cheeses, including a nice aged Manchego or maybe even a salty Pecorino or…well, you get the idea.
Gluten-Free Cheese CrackersYou can substitute an equal amount of all-purpose gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose and spelt flours. You can use store-bought or homemade gluten-free flour blend but be certain that it does not contain xanthan gum. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Vegan Cheese CrackersNot surprisingly, cheese crackers don’t work well without real cheese. Do not attempt to make a vegan version of them.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
These homemade cheese crackers were made and devoured in what seemed like the blink of an eye. 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. Easy to make and addictive to eat.
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.
Originally published January 28, 2013