Kaleb and I have a big passion for cheese in our lives. There is just something about the salty yellow goodness that is so fulfilling to our bellies. While I personally was not raised on having typical ‘snack’ foods readily available in the pantry (and so have never really craved them), Kaleb is the king of snacks! He loves salty crunchy things and they make the perfect snack since he is usually burning tons of calories cycling or taking photos. I have generally steered clear of salty things in the past due to the way it affects my body, but I have found that in the past few years that I too have developed a passion for cheese and especially Cheez-Its. However we find that we still try not to buy them regularly because of not wanting to consume the preservatives in them.
Recently I was chatting with a friend at work who has a food allergy to most preservatives used in packaged foods and she recommended to us that we try making our own Cheez-Its. I must admit the thought had never crossed my mind since I usually bake sweet things. But I loved the idea and immediately set my heart on creating our own recipe. I decided on a gluten-free version so that we could share this with some of our other friends who have similar special dietary needs. I love how these turned out and they make a great snack for our on-the-go lifestyle!
16 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 stick unsalted softened butter
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
2 c. almond flour or organic oat flour
2-3 tbsp. cold water
Mix your shredded cheese with your butter and add in the salt. Once this has mixed for a few minutes and everything is sticking together, slowly add in your flour. Allow this to mix until everything becomes crumbly (or about 3 minutes). Add in your water and mix until you have a large cheese dough ball mixture.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees farenheit. While this is preheating, take a clump of your cheese dough and roll out very flat to about 1/4″ thick or less on parchment paper. Line a baking sheet with your parchment paper and dough, and then use a serrated bread knife to cut squares in the dough. Poke holes in the center of each square with a tooth pick. Bake in the oven for 17 minutes for more crunchy crackers. Once these are done, remove from the oven, break apart, and enjoy!
Photography by Marilyn Nimz