Snack

How to Make Cheez-Its at Home

by:
June  3, 2014

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.

64 Comments

Carrie June 5, 2014
Apples and peanut butter! I still snack on them as an adult ;)
 
Erin L. June 5, 2014
We always had ramen noodles at my house after school.
 
Aprilgottfried June 4, 2014
Bagal Bites!
 
Tenley June 4, 2014
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.
 
Karlene June 4, 2014
Apple wedges with crunchy peanut butter.. it's the best and it's really healthy for you.
 
AntoniaJames June 4, 2014
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)
 
Karlene June 4, 2014
I must try the almond butter, thanks.
 
BakerRB June 4, 2014
Rice Krispy Treats were my go-to, often with chocolate chips and peanut butter mixed in.
 
alliejones June 4, 2014
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.
 
lich June 4, 2014
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.
 
CarlaCooks June 4, 2014
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!
 
lisina June 4, 2014
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.
 
CarlaCooks June 6, 2014
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!
 
Mulzee June 4, 2014
goldfish or pasta with butter and parmigiano! depending on how lazy I was feeling.
 
Yael E. June 4, 2014
Oreos and a big tall glass of cold milk!
 
redorgreen126 June 3, 2014
Toasted Eggo waffle with a drizzle of melted butter and a smear of strawberry jam topped with Reddi-whip.
 
Melody J. June 3, 2014
I loved potato chips.
 
Heather June 3, 2014
Ritz crackers dipped in hot chocolate with a spoonful of fluff
 
swscovell June 3, 2014
cheese melted on a ritz<br />
 
Rachel June 3, 2014
Cinnamon toast!
 
Aleksey L. June 3, 2014
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.
 
aegan June 3, 2014
Crushed cheddar cheese Ruffles, and sour cream. Mixed in a bowl. Eaten with a spoon. Pure bliss, and I still eat it.
 
jeneric June 3, 2014
cheddar cheese on toast. Mom thought snack food was too caloric.
 
skb June 3, 2014
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.