Wholesome Snack: Homemade Cheese Crackers

crackers in a blue plateI’m huge on chips. Eating them was always a point of compromise during any of the many diet programs I tried in my younger years. I could easily consume an economy size bag in just one sitting. And feel remorse afterward. Anyway, I’ve definitely cut back big time since becoming a mother, but I still occasionally indulge the craving for them. I try not to go with store-bought versions and instead make our own. Besides potato, I’ve also tried making eggplant chips and tofu chips – unsuccessfully. My toasted chickpeas are okay, but Marguerite didn’t care for them when she was younger and I haven’t made any in a long time (Note to self: make some again sometime soon. I have chickpeas that have been waiting to be turned into hummus in the kitchen for longer than I care to remember.). However, my kids and I all like our homemade cheese crackers, so that’s certainly the working chips alternative that we have now. It’s also so fun to make. There’s an easy and shorter process, and there’s the longer, arm workout of a process. I tend to go for the latter for a few reasons: I could use the exercise, my daughter loves mixing things, and the food processor is at the bottom of a precariously stacked collection of  seldom-used kitchen doohickeys (we mostly use the blender).

I really recommend this snack as it’s definitely more wholesome than commercially produced versions. You know exactly what’s in it (no preservatives and artificial colors), and you get to spend time with your kids while making them. Here’s the recipe that we use:

Homemade Cheese Crackers

1 C flour
1 C shredded or grated cheese
4 T cold butter, diced into small pieces
1/2 t salt
1/2 t Spanish paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
5 T cold water

crackers on cookie sheetCombine all the ingredients except water in a bowl and mix thoroughly until well-blended. Many people prefer to use the food processor; we won’t judge. 🙂 Add water, one tablespoon at a time, blending some more after each addition, until dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball and then wrap with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle flour on a smooth surface and your rolling pin. Roll the dough out until it is about ⅛ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or pastry wheel, cut into 1-inch squares. Once squares are ready, use a skewer or chop stick to poke a hole in the middle of each square. As you can see, my daughter loved this part so much that we ended up with 2 or more holes in many of the cracker squares.

Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy. Let sit in the oven for a couple more minutes before removing to let  cool on the counter. Do not over-bake. The crackers will crisp up more as they cool. You may store in a container for about a week. If the crackers get kind of soggy, you can crisp them up again in an oven for about 5 minutes.

Let us know if you get to try making some. What other seasoning would you care to use instead? Do you have other chips alternative to suggest? Hope to hear from you.

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