April 20, 2017
Spicy Homemade Cheeze-Its
Minnesota State Fair Winner - 1999
Here’s another great recipe from the archives: Spicy Homemade Cheeze-Its! It was originally titled “Savory Cheese Crackers” and was a runner-up cookie contest winner at the Minnesota State Fair. Meg Desmond placed third with it, way back in 1999. She was on to something delicious! We’ve adapted her recipe to use an aged cheddar from Kerrygold. It’s richness works perfect in this recipe. You shred and add it to a combination of butter and flour you’ve cut together with a pastry blender. We also added a lot more hot sauce. Classic Tabasco sauce gives the cracker the heat I love. It also gives it the color needed to resemble Nabisco Cheeze-Its.Cut back the hot sauce if you’re not as big a spice fan as I am. You can also change up the sauce to Sriracha, Cholula Chipotle (two of my other favorites), or whatever flavor you’re craving. This makes a good amount of “dough” so we divided it into three portions and shaped them so you could easily freeze, cut and bake them at will. With the square “logs” the shape will stay consistent when you cut and bake them. Tip: You’ll want to be sure to use parchment paper when baking these. We had a disaster the first time through without it. Keep each cheeze-it apart from the others too. You’ll want to freeze the dough at least two hours, but it will keep in the freezer days to weeks if needed.
Another tip: Go for a consistent thickness when slicing the dough. They’ll bake more evenly that way.I used multiple baking sheets and grouped them for similar thickness so each pan would bake at the same rate.My last tip is to keep a close eye on the oven because with the butter and cheese in these, they can go from perfect to burnt pretty quickly.
So this recipe has just 5 ingredients, including the hot sauce and salt, so besides being amazing to taste, it’s completely easy to make. And nothing tastes better than home-made to me. Enjoy!
Spicy Homemade Cheeze-Its
3/4 cup, cubed, cold, salted butter
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
7 ounces shredded sharp aged cheddar
2 tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste
2-3 pinches salt, or to taste
Combine the cold, cubed butter and the flour (with a pastry cutter or food processor) until crumbly. Mix in cheese and hot sauce until well-combined, smooth, but not too over-mixed. Divide the dough in three equal portions and shape each into square logs. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (to prevent sticking). Slice dough evenly into 1/4-inch increments (to make 1 inch squares) and place on parchment paper, apart from each other. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges just start to crisp. Keep a close eye to not burn. Cool on wire rack. Makes several dozen cheeze-its.
-Recipe from the Blue Ribbon Group