Cheez-Its Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Jestei



3 Ratings

  • Makes approximately 120 one-inch crackers

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Author Notes

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 co*cktail 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.

Recipe excerpted from Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) (Clarkson Potter, 2014). —Jestei

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/2 cupsall-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1/4 teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoonssalt
  • 1 teaspoonpaprika
  • 3 cupsshredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cupvegetable oil
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, and paprika together 3 to 5 times, until just combined. Add the cheddar cheese and pulse 15 to 20 times, or until the cheese is finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in the vegetable oil and continue to process just until all the oil is incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, shaping it into a disk. Freeze for 2 hours, or until the dough just gives when pressed but holds its shape when picked up.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Unwrap the dough and divide in two equal pieces. Place half of the dough on a piece of parchment paper and shape into a rectangle with your hands. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out, keeping the rectangle shape, to a thickness of just under 1/4 inch. Using a pizza cutter or metal bench scraper, cut the dough into 1-inch squares. Transfer the squares on the parchment to the prepared baking sheet and carefully separate them, spacing them evenly, about 1 inch apart. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
  4. Bake the squares for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the crackers are golden and the edges are beginning to brown. Cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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  • Leandra

  • Marian Bull

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14 Reviews

borntobeworn April 7, 2016

Do you think these could be made in advance and then frozen and served a few weeks later (after warming in the oven)? I've got to make some snacks well in advance of a party next month and am looking for things I can make several weeks in advance.

judy November 22, 2015

I think some of the flakiness can be counteracted with a hole poked into each of the crackers. I used a bamboo skewer. I also baked them a couple minutes longer. But perhaps that was my oven. so good. thanks.

Leandra July 17, 2015

I accidentally combined everything together in the food processor AND forgot to add the paprika until the end and probably cut them unevenly and yet...they still turned out INCREDIBLE. Could not believe how cheezit like these taste!!!! Love this recipe

KEN March 21, 2015

can this be made with reg white flour substitute?

Jestei March 22, 2015

i would try it yes

Ula November 25, 2019

I realize this is over 4 years later, but I did make these with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour, so I submit this review for anyone else who wants to try a flour substitute. Bob’s is slightly bean-y tasting, but that actually works fine with the cheese. They were awesome. These cheez-its are a little more on the crumbly side than the flaky side, but they taste terrific. I used spicy paprika, topped them with a little Aleppo pepper flakes for some added zip, and to separate them from the wheat flour version for my gluten-intolerant guests. Both types were gobbled up.

Summer June 11, 2014

When I printed the recipe there was no information about how thick to roll the dough etc. What you've written above is much clearer and I believe will be much easier moving forward. I think the texture did catch me off guard as they were flakier than I'd anticipated but that might just be one of the qualities of these crackers!

Marian B. June 11, 2014

I'm so sorry! We had a small glitch in uploading the recipe; I hope that if you try it again, you like it even better. Keep us posted!

Summer June 10, 2014

I tried this recipe last night and it didn't turn out exceptionally well for me. I got a little confused due to the missing step regarding the rolling process. I rolled the dough out cold but initially rolled it far too thin. I was thinking thinner = crispier but in this case it was just harder to work with and burnt easily. The dough spreads just a little in the oven so keeping them separated is important. I also felt the oven was a little hot and turned it down after a while and baked them longer. In the end, I found them to be easier to work with when I rolled them to about 1/4 inch thickness.
The other element that I was a little disappointed by was how flaky they were. It was almost like pie dough, which in some cases would be great but as I was looking for a cracker it missed the mark for me. (I wonder if this could be used as a pie dough...for an apple pie...interesting.) I was afraid to put them into a box or bag as I thought they'd just turn into dust. I'm sure there's more experimenting to be done on this for me but I don't know that I'll choose to make them again. If I did, I'd consider a dash of cayenne for the dough and a sprinkle of salt on top to pump up the flavor more.

Marian B. June 11, 2014

So sorry to hear this! What was unclear about the rolling out process?

Marian B. June 3, 2014

The recipe has been updated! So sorry about that -- but now everyone can have cheez its.

Megann S. June 3, 2014

There is a step that's missing from this recipe.....

MelissaH June 3, 2014

I, too, think an instruction is missing between lining baking sheets and baking the squares. How thick to roll? Any chance a pasta machine could do the rolling for me?

cucina D. May 29, 2014

I love these and want to try them at home, but can you tell me... do you roll out the chilled dough and then cut into the square shapes? I assume this is true so please confirm for me. Thanks for this great recipe idea :)

Cheez-Its Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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