I know that a lot of you are getting ready for the kids to go back to school. While we don’t have quite the same experience here, there are some common threads that tie traditional schooling and homeschooling. Today’s recipe represents one of those threads. If you’re looking for some stuff that you can pack in your child’s lunchbox, these gluten free cheddar cheese crackers are perfect. Even better is the fact that they don’t HAVE to be gluten free. More on that later.
I have always been a huge fan of Cheez-Its. When I had to go gluten free, I was stunned at how expensive the crackers and snacks were. Sure, some of them have become more affordable over time, but I decided it was time to take better control of my snacks (and my grocery budget!). I couldn’t just give them up. I have as much a love for salty and crunchy as I do for sweet when it comes to snacking. So, when I discovered Namaste gluten free flour blend a while ago, I knew I had the solution I needed.
I will tell you that the real key to this recipe is the freshly grated cheese. Sure, you can make it with the pre-shredded stuff…but that powder they coat them with will definitely affect the final texture of the dough. I always buy brick cheese and shred it myself because I don’t like that anti-caking stuff. Let my cheese stick to itself in glorious, cheesy clumps. It’s okay. I don’t mind. In fact, I have two pint-sized cheese lovers who would say the same thing. I can’t ever shred cheese for anything without the youngest in particular saying he needs to do a “quality check” on the cheese. And I let him get away with it every time.
Did you just cringe when I said ‘freshly grated’? It’s okay – I won’t judge. Yes, grating cheese can be a real nuisance when you do it all by hand. I used to think it was kind of therapeutic. Now I shred my cheese in seconds. Check out this puppy and you’ll get perfectly shredded cheese with almost no effort at all (unless you count cleaning it – but that’s what the dishwasher’s for!)
What I love the most about these homemade cheddar cheese crackers is how flaky and crispy they are. And with a generous sprinkle of salt on the dough before you bake them, they come out packed with cheesy flavor, lightly salted and crunchy as all get-out. Oh, and if you aren’t gluten free, you can make these gluten laden, too. Just swap out the flour for all-purpose and you’ll get the same result.
Late night snack solutions: Big cheddar flavor...no gluten...only 5 ingredients. How can you go wrong?Click To Tweet
My challenge to you…
I dare you….DARE you….to eat one and not go back for more. I can’t keep the kids out of them. Who am I kidding? I can’t stay out of them.
- 1¼ cups gluten free all-purpose flour blend (or any flour)
- 1½ cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, cold and diced
- ½ cup half-and-half, light cream or milk
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put the flour, cheddar cheese and salt in the food processor.
- Combine the ingredients on pulse until everything is well-incorporated.
- Add the butter and continue pulsing to make a crumbly mixture.
- Slowly pour in the half-and-half with the food processor running.
- Pulse it until the dough forms a ball.
- Roll out two matching sheets of parchment paper.
- Split the dough ball in half.
- Roll out one half of the dough to a rectangle that's less than a quarter-inch thick.
- Cut the dough into one-inch squares.
- Move the squares to the parchment-lined pan.
- Poke holes in each square with a fork so the crackers don't develop air pockets.
- Sprinkle coarse salt over the tops of the squares and press the salt into the dough (you can use regular salt if you don't have coarse salt).
- Bake each sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the sheet pan halfway through.