Recipe of the Month: Homemade Baked Cheddar Crackers

Recipe of the Month: Homemade Baked Cheddar Crackers

- in Parenting

My kids love “snacks.” And most of their favorite snacks come in brightly colored packages that we purchase from our favorite big-box retail store. But packaged snacks can get expensive, and it’s nice to have a better understanding of what I’m putting into my kids’ lunch boxes (and then their stomachs). When I first made these cheese crackers, I was so excited – they taste nearly identical to the popular kind you find on the store shelves, are easy (and fun!) to make, and I know exactly what’s in them. Because the dough has to sit for a little while, I like to make a double batch and freeze the uncooked dough to bake at a later date. They’re a win with my kids, and they don’t last long in our house.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup when you grate it yourself)
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into Tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • optional: additional kosher or sea salt for sprinkling on top

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a food processor, place cheeses, flour, cornstarch and salt. Process until combined, about 20 seconds or so.
  2. Add in cold butter slices and process again until the dough looks crumbly, about 10-15 seconds.
  3. Add in water and process until mixture forms a dough you can hold as a ball in your hands, about 5 seconds.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and spread out onto a floured work surface. Using your hands, shape dough into a square and press dough down until it’s about 1/4 inch tall.
  5. Wrap square in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).
  6. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Place your unwrapped, chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten more, to about 1/8 inch high or about an 8 to 9-inch square. You can use a rolling pin to make it more uniform and roll the dough out.
  8. Cut the dough square into small crackers. I usually make 8 strips on each side of the square, coming up with about 64 crackers. I have a crinkle cut knife I use that makes the fun edge below, but you can also use a pizza roller for easy cutting. (Note: if you end up doubling the batch to freeze dough, I like freezing half the crackers here, already cut, so they’re ready to go)
  9. Arrange crackers onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with additional sea salt (optional).
  10. Bake in oven about 17-20 minutes until crackers are slightly browned and crisp. Let cool completely before eating – they’ll be a little soft coming out of the oven but will harden and get crispier/more cracker-like after sitting.

Storage note: If you store these in the fridge or in a closed container, they can soften up. They’re still good, but they won’t be as crunchy. I like to keep them in a container with the lid partially off.

Note: I like to make a double batch of the dough and freeze half the dough before cooking to have a quick snack ready to make. I like to freeze the dough after the crackers are already cut, but before I bake.

About the author

Melissa Koski Carney (known as @koskim on social media) is an Ohio transplant from New York. A 30-something mom of three, she recently moved with her family from their downtown apartment to a nearly 100-year-old home in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She works full-time as a marketing communications professional. When she’s not working, blogging, or chasing after her three kids (all ages 5 and under), she enjoys running, baking and reading; as well as hanging out with the other women she has met through her Ladies Craft Beer Society. She blogs regularly at I Crashed The Web.

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