Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homemade Cheez-it Stars

Um, okay.  So.  This recipe?  Amazing.  I just don't really know what else to say about it.

You see, I happen to love Cheez-its.  In an unhealthy, can-eat-an-entire-box-in-one-sitting kind of way.  It's really not a pretty sight.  But those cheesy little bits of baked heaven are beyond good.  Don't act like you don't agree.  You know they're fantastic.  Even if you're a foodie snob, you know there always comes a time when you find yourself in a dark room scarfing down those addictive crackers, hoping no one sees your face covered in that delectable powder.  Yum.  My little one - the two year old, that is - also loves the cheesy goodness.  But I never buy them for her.  Mainly because I will eat them all.  But, also (more importantly) because they are in no way healthy.  I mean, you just can't even pretend.  I don't know that there's a natural ingredient in the box.  I'm not a health-food freak by any means (which is obvious by this blog), but I do try to limit the amount of processed foods the little one eats.  I'm usually grateful she's willing to eat anything, but I just can't bring myself to indulge her joy over packaged crackers.  She'll thank me for it later.

Right?  Right.

It never crossed my mind that there may be a homemade version of Cheez-its.  I mean, how in the world could they be replicated?  Not possible.  But, this recipe made the Top 9 on FoodBuzz one day and I was sold.  I knew they had to be made.  The only down side to them?  I can't eat them!  With the milk-elimination diet I'm on, these are off limits.  UGH.  I did taste one just to make sure they were okay, and I could have easily eaten every single one of them that very moment.  Amazing.  You must bake them.  NOW.

Homemade Cheez-it Stars:
8 ozs. shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp. ice water
(The original recipe calls for salt for sprinkling, but I forgot this step and I just don't think they need it.  Your call)

Combine cheese, butter, shortening and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  It will be crumbly.  Slowly add flour then ice water.  If you need it (though I didn't) add just a few drops of water to help the dough come together.  But, you do not want a wet dough, so be careful.

Form dough into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 30 minutes (I let mine chill for a few hours).

After dough is chilled, preheat oven to 375.  Roll each disc to 1/8" thickness and cut into desired shapes.  I used a small, star fondant cutter.  The original recipe calls for cutting into squares using a pastry wheel.  Again, your call.  The original recipe also calls for poking a hole in each piece with a toothpick.  I did not do this and don't think it needed it.

If your dough is difficult to work with, just return it to the fridge for a bit.  Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until they are just beginning to brown and puff up.  I usually only needed about 10 minutes.  If you remove the crackers and they are not crispy enough, just place them back in the oven for a minute or two.  But, be careful.  You don't want them to burn.  Makes several dozen.

Adapted slightly from In Katrina's Kitchen.

No comments:

Post a Comment