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How to Make Cheez-Its at Home

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All week long, our very own Jennifer Steinhauer from Weeknights with Jenny will be sharing recipes from her new book Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today). Follow along to win one of five copies we’re giving away -- and to take a trip down memory lane. 

Today: A throwback to after-school soccer practices and the bags of Cheez-Its that accompanied them. 

Cheez-Its on Food52

I directly associate this snack with tomato soup, the perfect pairing throughout junior high, when consumed post-soccer practice in front of reruns of "The Rockford Files." 

The dough for our recipe is prepared in a food processor because, as Gail the baker explains, "the sharp blade and its fast rotation cuts the cheese into tiny bits quickly, dispersing them through the dough to promote a flakier texture." If you spooned these out into little balls, people would think they were a high-end cocktail snack. Cut into squares, with a neatness level that will depend on how compulsive you are, they are a bagged lunch treat completely loyal to the original. The paprika is responsible for the tang; the better the cheese you use, the sharper and more elegant the taste, yet they will still remain distinctly Cheez-It-esque.

Cheez-Its

Makes approximately 120 one-inch cheese crackers

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup vegetable oil

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here. 

We're giving away a copy of Treat Yourself every day this week! To enter to win today's copy, tell us in the comments: What was your go to after-school snack? We'll pick five winners at random next Monday, June 9th!

Photo by James Ransom. Excerpted from the book Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) by Jennifer Steinhauer. Reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter Publishers. All rights reserved.

Tags: guest editors, jenny steinhauer, treat yourself, cheez-its, snacks, how-to & diy

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Comments (64)

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about 1 year ago Carrie

Apples and peanut butter! I still snack on them as an adult ;)

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about 1 year ago Erin Lynch

We always had ramen noodles at my house after school.

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over 1 year ago Aprilgottfried

Bagal Bites!

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over 1 year ago Tenley

Fig Newtons were my go to... when I take a bite of one today, I am instantly brought back to sitting in my childhood kitchen after school.

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over 1 year ago Karlene

Apple wedges with crunchy peanut butter.. it's the best and it's really healthy for you.

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Karlene, those were also one of my favorite snacks then, and are one of my favorite snacks today, though I more often reach for unsalted raw almond butter these days. ;o)

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over 1 year ago Karlene

I must try the almond butter, thanks.

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over 1 year ago BakerRB

Rice Krispy Treats were my go-to, often with chocolate chips and peanut butter mixed in.

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over 1 year ago alliejones

In high school I used to make M&M cookies after school a lot. Or a toasted Lender's bagel (not worthy of recreation in a cook book) with cream cheese and jam. Jenny's book looks soooo fun.

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over 1 year ago lich

Since I was a latchkey kid, and my parents didn't come home until 6pm, I used make myself the oddest things to eat. One of my favorite snacks (or meals, I should say) was cooking ramen noodles and only adding about a teaspoon of butter, salt, and pepper (never used the flavoring packet). It made me feel like a grown-up cooking for myself.

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over 1 year ago CarlaCooks

I was also a big fan of cheez-its and goldfish. Now that I live abroad, whenever someone from the States visits, I always ask for a bag of goldfish!

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over 1 year ago lisina

So funny! We always bring my cousin in Italy Costco sized boxes of cheese its when we visit. They are usually gone before we leave. I just sent her this recipe, though, I'm not even sure she'll be able to get her hands on cheddar cheese.

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about 1 year ago CarlaCooks

You are a very good cousin! Does your cousin have access to Mimolette (it's a French cheese that has a similar taste to cheddar)? Otherwise, Dorie Greenspan's recipe for cheez-it-ish crackers uses Emmenthal and/or Gruyere, and those crackers are tasty even without being cheddar!

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over 1 year ago Mulzee

goldfish or pasta with butter and parmigiano! depending on how lazy I was feeling.

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over 1 year ago Yael Even

Oreos and a big tall glass of cold milk!

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over 1 year ago redorgreen126

Toasted Eggo waffle with a drizzle of melted butter and a smear of strawberry jam topped with Reddi-whip.

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over 1 year ago Melody J

I loved potato chips.

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over 1 year ago Heather

Ritz crackers dipped in hot chocolate with a spoonful of fluff

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over 1 year ago swscovell

cheese melted on a ritz

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over 1 year ago Rachel

Cinnamon toast!

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over 1 year ago Aleksey Lirov

I know it sounds too healthy but I have to go with fruit. I could easily go through a hand of bananas in 20-30 minutes.

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over 1 year ago aegan

Crushed cheddar cheese Ruffles, and sour cream. Mixed in a bowl. Eaten with a spoon. Pure bliss, and I still eat it.

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over 1 year ago jeneric

cheddar cheese on toast. Mom thought snack food was too caloric.

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over 1 year ago skb

Kid: quick popsicle out of the freezer (anything but orange!), then out the door and on my bike. Teenager: massive bowl of cereal in front of Santa Barbara soap opera.