I have a confession: although I don’t eat much dairy, I adore a certain cheese cracker. I blame it on the fact that I was born American in the US! Cheez Its make me drool. Please note: this love does not extend to ‘Cheese Nips’, which have MSG in them and are, well, gross!
Whenever I go back to the US, I eat as many Cheez Its as possible. Seriously, I dream about Cheez Its. I kid you not. Every six months or so, I actually have a dream that-along with finding an exciting short cut to visit my family after two hours travel or so and thus enable weekend visits-I am in the US for ‘the weekend’ and must stock up. I distinctly remember a dream in which I figured out a porthole to the supermarket near my mom and dad’s house but the ‘magic’ that facilitated the travel meant that I couldn’t leave the store. I phoned my parents and they had to come visit me. IN THE CHEEZ IT AISLE!…
So, imagine my bliss when friends offered to bring me something back from their trip to the US and I was clear minded/brazen enough to suggest a box of these golden squares. Being the awesomeness that they are, they used their baggage space to bring me a box (and tootsie pops- so spoiled)!
I tried to save the box until a huge craving hit, but obviously that happened when I knew I could have some! Knowing you can eat something that you often yearn for is one of the most exciting things for an ex-pat!
Mmm….so good with rice and beans!
So, since I was munching along happily on one of my favourite treats that for the past six years I assumed I could only enjoy with contact from the US, I decided it was the perfect time to try a recipe I have had bookmarked for ages. I figured I could do a taste test.
I made home made Cheeze Its. For real. Maybe you are not as excited about this as I am, but WOW. I actually am thrilled. This is up there with being able to make my own pickles! I used this recipe and it is pretty darn close! I followed the recipe and used cayenne, but will try paprika next time since that is in the manufactured version.
For posterity (and because I used a slightly altered version, using a cup of cheese), I am writing my recipe here:
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (I cut about 60 grams off of the butter), cut into small pieces
8 ounces/1 cup grated (Tesco) ‘Full flavour white cheddar’ cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (try paprika next time)
5 tablespoons cold water
It said to slowly add all the water and I used it all. Baked at 160C, I found that with the fan on, they only took around 13 minutes (or a tad less) for the large crackers. I made some smaller ones that were done before 10. They’re a bit thicker than they should be but, oh, they taste right! Since I used white cheddar, they taste slightly different than the original, but perfect to satisfy any craving.
I’ll also be trying these crackers with added jalapeños! I’d like to try some vegan versions (another here), but they often contain nutritional yeast and I’m not sure where I’d get that in Scotland. If there ever was a reason for me to buy a pizza roller (in addition to the graham crackers and tortillas that I need to get back into making!), this is it!