These easy homemade baked Cheez-It like crackers are amazing. A copycat recipe of popular cheese crackers sold in a red box at the store, my homemade crackers are simple to make and delicious to boot! These crunchy cheddar cheese crackers also make a tasty snack and are a unique gift for the foodies in your life.
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You will need the following ingredients to make baked cheez-it crackers: unsalted butter, shredded cheddar cheese, kosher salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and flour. You will also need a food processor, two cookie sheets, parchment paper, a fluted pastry cutter, a rolling pin, and a gallon-size plastic storage bag.
How to make them:
Cut the chilled butter into 16 small cubes.
Add the shredded cheese, cubes of butter, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the butter is broken up into uneven bits, and the mixture forms small curds.
Add one cup of flour and pulse until the dough is thoroughly mixed and crumbly. (It will look a little dry.)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently until it comes together.
Place the dough in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
Put the bag on a flat surface. Leave the top of the bag open. Using the rolling pin, roll the dough gently into an even rectangle that fills the bag. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so that it doesn’t cause creases. Make sure that your dough is an even thickness and that it fills all corners of the bag.
Seal the bag and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When you are ready to bake the crackers, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
How to cut the dough:
Place the Ziploc bag on a flat surface and carefully slit it open. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and discard the bag. I used a ruler as a guide and cut the dough into approximately 1×1 inch squares using a fluted pastry cutter.
Carefully prick each cracker with a fork and transfer to your baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 14-18 minutes, until puffy and golden brown around the edges. Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.
Pro-Tip: The use of a plastic storage bag to roll out the cracker dough is genius. The dough fits perfectly, and rolling it out in the bag keeps it all the same thickness and in a nice square.
If you like spicy crackers, increase the amount of cayenne pepper to ½ teaspoon.
I used sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe, but you can also substitute gruyere, Swiss, Comte, or Emmenthal.
If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can also use a pizza cutter or a knife to cut the dough.
Store your homemade crackers in an airtight container for up to one week.
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Easy Homemade Baked Cheez-It Crackers Recipe
- 4 oz unsalted butter cold, cut into 16 pieces
- 4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper more if you like your crackers spicy
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for flouring the work surface
- Place the butter, cheese, salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the butter is broken up into uneven bits and the mixture forms small curds. Add the flour and pulse until the dough forms moist curds again.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently until it comes together.
- Place the dough in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Put the bag on a flat surface. Leaving the top open, roll the dough into an even rectangle that completely fills the bag. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally. And, lift the plastic from the dough so that it doesn't cause creases. Seal the bag, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
- When you are ready to bake the crackers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the Ziploc bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm dough onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper; discard the bag. Using a ruler as a guide and a fluted pastry cutter, cut the dough into approximately 1-inch by 1-inch squares. Prick each cracker twice with a fork and transfer to the baking sheets.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 14-17 minutes, or until the crackers are puffy and golden brown around the edges. Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool completely.
*This recipe was originally posted on December 15, 2016. Updated on September 8, 2019, with expanded directions and the addition of tips to ensure this recipe turns out perfect every time you make it.