Cheese

Easy, Cheesy Turmeric-Spiced Crackers to Rival Cheez-Its

February 25, 2017

Snacks are one of life's small (but great) pleasures. For some reason, snack foods seem to fall squarely in the "buy don't make" category for most people, even people who cook often at home. Perhaps that's because store-bought snacks like crackers and chips rely on heavy doses of salt and artificial flavorings to keep us coming back for more handfuls, and those sorts of flavors are hard to reproduce at home. Perhaps it's nostalgia: Homemade Goldfish will never taste exactly like the real thing, for example. They'll be delicious! But they'll be different.

That being said, I strongly urge everyone to give homemade snacks a try. Today's recipe is a perfect example it being much faster it is to whip up a batch of crackers than to walk to the store. A riff on a classic Cheez-It, these little square crackers are spiced up with turmeric, paprika, and cayenne. I like to use cheese (either Parmesan or cheddar) plus nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast has a savory, cheesy flavor that actually amps up the taste of real cheese. It's often used as a cheese substitute in vegan recipes, but I love its umami-ness and see no reason not to pair it with cheese.

Deceptively easy. Photo by Posie Harwood

The cracker dough comes together in minutes. You whisk together your dry ingredients, pour in some cream, stir it all together until it forms a dough, then roll it out. Cut it into any shape you like (little squares make for easier snacking), and bake! You can prevent your crackers from puffing up as they bake, which they sometimes do, by pricking the center of each one with the tip of a knife before baking.

Don't forget the coarse salt on top. Photo by Posie Harwood

The crackers are an excellent make-ahead option for a party, like the Oscars coming up tomorrow. Feel free to vary the spices as you like (sometimes I add in oregano and dried basil for a pizza-flavored twist). Your friends will be impressed by your domestic prowess (homemade crackers!), and since the recipe makes a very large batch, you'll have snacks on hand all week.

Do you like to make crackers? Tell us why (or why not) in the comments?

Posie Harwood is a writer, photographer, and food stylist based in New York. You can read more of her writing here.

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2 Comments

MtAdventurer February 27, 2017
I've been making crackers for several years. I started with a garlic-rosemary mix but since I've been making sourdough bread I found a King Arthur Flour recipe that uses discard starter and that has become my favorite. The "base" is unfed starter/flour/olive oil to which I add nutritional yeast and whatever spices sound good. I use a pasta roller (simple manual Atlas) to roll the dough and a pastry cutter to score dough right on a silpat (a pastry cutter does not harm the silpat like a pizza cutter would). I used to roll the dough with a small silicone roller right on the silpat but since changing to the pasta roller - so much easier and the dough is a uniform thickness so the crackers back evenly.<br /><br />My cracker incredients are: flour, water, herb/spices, olive oil. Compare that to a box cracker :) !! They keep easily 2 weeks in an airtight jar.<br /><br />One thing about crackers - at least my experience - they taste very bland right out of the oven and take a good 24 hours to develop the best flavor.
 
Zoe P. February 25, 2017
These look SO good and are less tricky to make than I suspected! Can't wait to try.