Homemade Cheez-Its

Homemade Cheez-Its | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #diy

Like most processed, packaged snacks, I didn’t really get into Cheez-Its until high school. Waaaaaay past the days of grade school sleepovers with Ritz crackers and spray cheese. Seriously, why did cheese from a can taste so good?! As far as snacks go, Cheez-Its were pretty darn good – they were crunchy, a little salty, and totally cheesy. That’s pretty much all I’ve ever needed to be sold on a snack.

Even though I’ve been making homemade version of packaged snacks for awhile now (Klondike bars, Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, Nutella, peanut butter cups), I never fail to be amazed at how relatively easy each one is to recreate at home. These replica Cheez-Its were no exception; it takes only 5 minutes to make the dough, then it’s just rolling out and cutting!

Homemade Cheez-Its | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #diy

Can you believe that these only have five ingredients?! Just cheddar cheese, butter, flour, salt and water. That’s it!

Do you know the incredible thing that happens when a simple list of ingredients is used? You can taste each and every one of them, in all of their glory! These crackers might be the best thing to happen to my kitchen since… well, those peanut butter cup cookies I made yesterday… both were total winners!

These crackers taste unbelievably cheesy and buttery. When I took the pans out of the oven, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I hovered over them, popping cracker after cracker into our mouths until we had to slowly back away from the counter. Needless to say, these lasted a mere day in our house. If I would have had more time before we left, I would have made a double batch for car snacks on our way to the beach. They would have been perfect!

Homemade Cheez-Its | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #diy

The directions state to bake these for 15 to 17 minutes. The first pan I baked the lower amount, and found them to be closest to the color of the original Cheez-Its, albeit not quite as crunchy. The second batch I left in for an additional few minutes, and while they were a bit browner than what you’d normally see, they tasted pretty much exactly like them (minus the chemicals, of course!) and were super crunchy. That second batch was our preference, but feel free to play around and see what texture you prefer.

I think it’s safe to say you should just go ahead and make a double batch of these replica Cheez-Its before you get seriously upset with someone for eating the last one!

Homemade Cheez-Its | browneyedbaker.com #recipe #diy

One year ago: Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Two years ago: Colossal Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three years ago: Gazpacho
Four years ago: Baby Shower Cookies
Seven years ago: Dark Chocolate Chip Scones

Homemade Cheez-Its

Yield: About 15 dozen crackers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

An incredibly easy recipe for a homemade version of Cheez-It cheddar snack crackers

Ingredients:

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cheese, butter, and salt on low speed until combined. Add the flour and mix on low until pebbly. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the water and mix as the dough forms a ball. If needed, add the additional tablespoon of water a little at a time until the dough forms. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin 10x12-inch rectangle (the dough should be no more than ⅛-inch high). Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer them to the baking sheets.

3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until puffed and browning at the edges. Immediately move the crackers to wire racks to cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

(Recipe from Better Homes & Garden)

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75 Responses to “Homemade Cheez-Its”

  1. Theresa M. on May 13, 2014 at 7:36 am

    These look pretty tasty! Quick question: did you do a fine shred on the cheese or larger shreds? I tend to use the big holes on my old box grater for all my shredded cheese needs because the small holes always seem to be more messy.

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 13th, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hi Theresa, I use the large coarse holes on my box grater for these, and it was fine! I agree, I don’t like the small holes for cheese, either :)

      Reply

  2. loir on May 13, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I have to make these for my Dad. He is 88 years old and is the “unofficial” Cheez-it tester. His only complaint is sometimes they are not crispy enough. He will love these I am sure. Thanks for posting.

    Reply

  3. Vickie S. on May 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Wow! Thank you so much – I will definitely make these. I love making home made crackers!

    Reply

  4. Belinda@themoonblushbaker on May 13, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I am a cheez-its virgin but that because I unfortunately do not live in the USA. I am super keen on cheese right now, these picture are making me drool at midnight for that crispy, buttery cracker.

    Reply

  5. Jenny on May 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Thank you for posting this! Cheez-Its are a favorite guilty pleasure, but I haven’t been able to find them since moving to Tokyo. This will be a fun weekend project :)

    Reply

    • Jenny on May 18th, 2014 at 12:47 am

      Checking back in after making the recipe. These turned out great and it’s possible to make due without a mixer of any kind and without a rolling pin (put a ball of dough between two pieces of parchment and press down with your baking sheet). Having a little taste of home helps so much with homesickness while living abroad. Thanks again for making my day brighter :)

      Reply

      • Kyra on August 31st, 2014 at 10:31 pm

        I wish I had thought of that with the baking sheets!!! (ended up using a cup to roll it out like I would with anything else, but that would have been wayyyy easier).

        Reply

  6. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste on May 13, 2014 at 10:44 am

    YES, YES, YES!!!!! I used to eat half a box of Cheez-Its for dinner (sometimes… err… a lot of times) in high school. And by “high school,” I mean “last week.” These look PERFECT!

    Reply

  7. Sherri on May 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    These look and sound delicious! I could just live on snack food and side
    dishes. I like to shred my own cheese when I cook or bake. What happens if I used the pre-shredded cheese in a pinch. Don’t they put a powder in the shredded cheese so it doesn’t stick together? Does that alter the recipes at all?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 13th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Sherri, Yes, they do coat pre-shredded cheese with a non-caking agent. I don’t recommend using pre-shredded cheese in any recipe where the cheese needs to melt, only as a topping.

      Reply

  8. Helen @ the crispy crouton on May 13, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I’m not entirely sure what Cheese-Its are as I don’t think we have them here in the UK but I am a sucker for cheesy snack! These looks so easy so will definitely try making them.

    Reply

    • Becky on May 15th, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Think crispy cheese straws.

      Reply

  9. Kaycee on May 13, 2014 at 11:06 am

    This gave me the excuse I needed to take a break from studying for finals and make something yummy!

    Reply

  10. Sharon on May 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    My husband is a Cheez-It-Aholic so I’m very excited to make these for him! One quick question – I don’t have the fluted pastry wheel – could I just use a pizza cutter instead? Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 13th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Sharon, Absolutely!

      Reply

  11. marcie on May 13, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I know these have to taste so much better than Cheez-Its with only 5 real ingredients! They’re so fun and they’re a snack that I can feel good about giving my kids (and myself). :)

    Reply

  12. Lau M on May 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Good morning
    These look great. Can’t wait to try them for my son who is addicted to the store bought. I just have to say, every recipe I’ve made of yours comes out great and I get so many compliments. Thank you!

    Reply

  13. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on May 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

    These look amazingly good. I can’t believe they only have 5 ingredients!

    Reply

  14. Nedra on May 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Can you cut them while on the cookie sheet, and then bake them (breaking them apart after baking), or so they have to be separated on the sheet before baking – with space between them (how much space)?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 13th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Nedra, I would recommend separating them before baking. I don’t see why you couldn’t cut them on the baking sheet, but I would separate them. You don’t need to leave much space – they don’t spread, just puff a bit.

      Reply

  15. My Linh on May 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    It’s such a shame I’m lactose intolerant! My boyfriend loooves cheese though! If it wasnt for his training, he’d eat cheese al day long ;) I wouldnt mind to snack on one, okay maybe two pieces.

    Reply

    • Nadia on May 16th, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Hi My Linh … i’m pretty sure soy cheese would work just as well as ordinary cheese. I live in Australia and one of the dairy companies has brought out a range of “lactose free” products, including a cheese. Check out your local deli or grocery store to see what they have.

      Reply

    • Clarice on September 6th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      I’m lactose intolerant too and my nutritionist said cheddar cheese is the one cheese that’s okay to eat because there’s little to no lactose in it. Same with yogurt :]

      Reply

  16. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on May 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Cheez-Its are my ultimate weakness, these look so good!

    Reply

  17. Amanda on May 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!

    Reply

  18. Cyndi B on May 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Just to double-check, did you use the orange- colored cheddar as opposed to the white? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 14th, 2014 at 11:54 am

      HI Cyndi, Yes, the orange-colored cheddar.

      Reply

  19. Averie @ Averie Cooks on May 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve made homemade cheeze-its before too but I didnt have the adorable edge crimper you have (and I even looked for one!). Funny you’re comparing them to the PB cookies. When I made the cheeze its, they were for my PB cookbook. I worked PB into them! haha! Your crackers are beautiful – pinned!

    Reply

  20. Beth on May 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Take this dough and wrap it around a nice size pitted green olive and bake it. It is a delicious appetizer.

    Reply

  21. dina on May 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    looks like a great homemade snack!

    Reply

  22. Margaux H on May 13, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    These look amazing. I’ve always bought reduced-fat Cheez-its because I think they have that extra-baked taste that I love — it looks like that I could do that myself by baking these like your second batch. I can’t wait to try!

    Reply

  23. Tieghan on May 13, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    OMG, these look amazing. I would eat the whole batch!

    Reply

  24. Candace @ Cabot on May 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I want to grab that bowl and eat my way to the bottom. Homemade cheese crackers are so much tastier than the box kind. Love this!

    Reply

  25. Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife} on May 14, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Cheez-its are my favorite guilty pleasure, I need to try making them at home!

    Reply

  26. Stacey on May 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Haven’t read all the comments, but recommendations about how to mix if don’t have a standing mixer would be great.

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Hi Stacey, You could use a hand mixer or a bowl with a wooden spoon and some elbow grease.

      Reply

      • Jennifer on July 12th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        I used a fork and had very good results getting all of the ingredients well blended quickly and easily. It hasn’t gone into the oven, yet, but I’m sure they will be perfect!

        Reply

  27. Christine on May 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Don’t cheezits have garlic or onion powder in them? I thought I saw that on the (enormously long) ingredient list once…

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Hi Christine, They might, I’m not sure, have not eaten them in years. You could add seasonings to this if you wish, I loved the pure buttery/cheesy flavor!

      Reply

  28. kgmlucas on May 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Ok Ladies, I made these last nght – the double batch with sharp cheddar and a double batch with pepper jack – both are a HUGE hit at work today – I work with 90% men and they are practically fighting over the bowls. Believe me, they are just as easy to make as Michelle says they are and I found baking at 16 minutes was plenty of time for each batch. Be sure not to roll them too thin (no more than 1/8″) or they will burn up (yes, I thought about trying to salvage that batch :/ ). These will be perfect packaged up at the holidays and for football tailgates. I’m going to try other cheeses too since the peppe jack came out so nicely. Thanks again Michelle for some great tasting and easy recipes that make me look like a kitchen goddess at work. LoL

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2014 at 9:57 am

      So happy to hear these were a hit, and love the idea of using pepper jack!

      Reply

  29. Mary Ann on May 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Gonna try these… my husband LOVES Cheesits!

    Reply

  30. Sharon on May 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Can a hand-held mixer be used?

    Reply

  31. Erica on May 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    We are going to start my 5 year old on gluten fee. Do you think gluten free flour would work with these?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Hi Erica, I think that should be fine, however I haven’t tried it.

      Reply

  32. Christie on May 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I’m definitely making these as per the recipe but just out of curiosity, has anyone used whole wheat flour or a mix of whole wheat pastry and AP flour?

    Reply

    • Tricia on May 28th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      I used about 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour and 1/4 ap flour and they turned out great! I just had a little bit left in the bag and wanted to use it up and topped it off with the ap flour.

      Reply

  33. iscribbler on May 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    These look really good! I love cheez-its but if I bought a box they’d be gone within a day. This recipe looks fantastic! How many cups of 1 inch crackers did it make? I’m thinking these would be great for a potluck at work, but I’m not sure if it’d make enough. :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2014 at 10:00 am

      I honestly didn’t measure these in cups. If I had to guess, maybe somewhere around 6 to 8? My husband and I ate an entire batch of these within 1.5 days, if that helps :)

      Reply

  34. zarahi on May 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Hi! this recipe looks yummy!! but i have a question, do you think is possible to use coconut flour or almond flour instead of the all purpose flour?

    thanks :)!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 15th, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Hi Zahari, I haven’t tried using any other types of flours and don’t think that it should make too much of a difference, but you may notice some flavor and texture differences.

      Reply

  35. Monique from Write Note Reviews on May 15, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Cheese in a can? Never seen that in Australia!
    I’m going to make these later this afternoon – judging by the ingredients, I think they’ll be a hit.

    Reply

  36. Donna Batdorff on May 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I can’t wait to try these. I am seriously thinking of getting in the car to buy cheese (only ingredient I’m lacking) right now!

    Reply

  37. Mandy on May 15, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Oh my gosh – sooo good! I have made these twice in as many days – once with sharp cheddar and once with mozzarella. I cut the salt in half and they were still super yummy. My girls loved them and so did my co-workers!

    Reply

  38. missy on May 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Can you use salted butter?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 16th, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Hi Missy, You can, you just may want to decrease the amount of added kosher salt then.

      Reply

  39. lesley kim on May 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    i want to try this for my little toddler! thanks for sharing =)

    http://www.lesley-kim.com

    Reply

  40. Robin Christensen on May 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    YUMMY again! Throw in a little red pepper for some kick!

    Reply

  41. Matt Robinson on May 16, 2014 at 1:54 am

    I am seriously so excited to make these for my sons!!!

    Reply

  42. bill on May 17, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    i’m snacking on these now and they are quite tasty.

    Reply

  43. wendyworldly on May 18, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Hi Michelle and all you cheese-lovers,
    You may want to try this cheesy recipe.
    MACADAMIA CHEDDAR BISCUITS
    185 gm. coarsely grated mature cheddar cheese
    2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. soft butter
    70 gm. flour
    60 ml. milk
    1 tsp. salt
    ½ tsp. paprika
    70 gm. roughly chopped salted macadamia nuts
    Beat cheese and butter together with a fork. Add flour, milk, paprika and salt, using the fork to mix til it forms a soft dough. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Place heaped teaspoonsful of the mixture on a non-stick baking sheet and flatten each slightly with a fork. (Works best if you roll the teaspoonfuls into balls with your hands first, then flatten.) Bake at 200 C. for 10-12 min. or until the biscuits are golden and crunchy on the sides. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 24 biscuits. Rich and buttery-very nice as a nibbly with a glass of champagne.

    Reply

  44. Alli on May 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Oh my goodness, those look so yummy. I just made my first batch of soda crackers earlier this week, and they were a huge hit, and I was thinking I should look for more cracker recipes to try when a friends shared this post on FB. I’m so glad she did. I can’t wait to try this one, and I can’t wait to check out some more of your posts.

    Reply

  45. Mherz on May 24, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Wow!!! I. Really love it…so tasty , yummy and de!vicious… So easy to prepare . I try it just right now wow!!!thanks a lot for sharing this tasty recipe…. I’m hoping for more more recipes to come,,,, More power to you and God Bless !!! Have a nice day ♥♥♥

    Reply

  46. shawna on May 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I can’t have gluten, do you think a gluten free flour would work for these??? I’ve been DYING for cheez-its!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 26th, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Hi Shawna, I have never done any baking with gluten-free flours, so I couldn’t say for sure, but I think it would be okay.

      Reply

    • Anne on June 7th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      I have made these twice with GF flour (using Pamela’s GF flour blend) and it worked out cup for cup. They were AMAZING!

      Reply

  47. JoAnn Bayne on May 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m trying these today – the dough tastes just like the crackers so I’m excited to get them baked (and eaten). MSG is the reason that the spray cheese tasted so good – it is addicting and dangerous to our bodies.

    Reply

  48. MrsK on June 6, 2014 at 9:09 am

    LOVE THESE!! I used a sharp, orange Craker Barrell cheese that I shredded myself. They puffed up quite a bit but when I tried to roll them thinner, they nearly burned. So, in the end, I yielded 4 cups of crackers. My 2 toddlers DEVOURED them!! If you look at the list of ingredients on Cheez It crackers you’d be amazed at all the *stuff* in them :( This is a great recipe. I think I may try adding some garlic and onion powder next time and see how those come out.

    Reply

  49. Mary Anne on July 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I absolutely need to point out how perfect this is! The recipe in particular, yes. But the website as a whole, too! I have scanned through just about every recipe. ‘Cept the mains. I don’t fancy mains.

    Quick question, can the all-purpose be replaced with almond flour? I’m not full in knowledge about the workings of almond flour, and have only ever seen it being used in desserts. But I do prefer the LCHF composition.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 14th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Mary Anne, I haven’t done any baking with almond flour, but since this is a pretty simple recipe, I think it might work. You might need to increase or decrease the amount of water used to get the right consistency.

      Reply

  50. Grace on October 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Ooooh those look tasty. I have such a weakness for anything salty and cracker-ey. I just made the dough and now it is chilling. For anyone wondering, these were easily made with little effort without a mixer. I used a whisk for the butter and cheese part, and then used a wooden spoon for the flour and the water. The dough was a titch crumbly, but maybe that will go away with the chilling? Oh well, I’d probably eat the dough raw anyway. Thanks for the recipe and I can’t wait to fill an old peanut butter jar with them and take them everywhere I go! Take care :-)

    Reply

  51. Melody on November 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I tried these today (doubled the recipe) and they were horrible. Very dry and way too salty. Didn’t taste like cheese – more like salted baked flour cakes. What did I do wrong? My shredded cheese came from the freezer and I didn’t chill for a full hour. Could that make such a big difference? Also, the dough never formed a ball naturally, after mixing for awhile I hand rolled it into a ball.

    Reply

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