Holy Homemade Cheese Its, Batman!!

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I'm always looking for healthy snack alternatives to those processed junk foods you find in the store that kids love so much (esp mine!). Whether it's a healthier brand or a recipe, I'm ready to upgrade. So, when I came across this Homemade Cheese-Its Recipe from Pinterest, I was excited to give 'em a try. Here's the original link from agoldenafternoon. Her pictures are far better than mine, but I'm postin' mine anyway. :)

I've had to tweak it a little but after about 4 batches and a new rolling pin, I think I've perfected it to my tastes (I'm sure it's perfect for others as-is) and it's a keeper! :) Here's the recipe written out, w/ just a couple notes from me. :) 

Cheese Its
Recipe from: http://www.agoldenafternoon.com/food/junkfood-remade-cheese-its/
(adapted from “Ready Made” and a few other sources)

8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c flour
2 T water, iced

1.      Cream the cheese, butter, and salt until combined. Add the flour until it looks like the above. Then, slowly add the water until the dough forms a ball. It may take 15 seconds or so for the dough to make the ball after you add the water so be careful not to add much more (I added a T. more).
2.      Pat the dough in a disk and put in the fridge for an hour. Then, roll out the dough until it’s 1/8 of an inch.
3.      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
4.      Cut them in 1″ squares. You can see by the lines that i let my kids help cut them out. They LOVED the pastry wheel.
5.      Poke a hole in them with a chopstick and bake for 12 minutes.

Happyvballgirl notes:
- I used milk instead of water
- I used Mexican shredded cheese - just couldn’t handle the bite of the sharp cheddar.
- I skipped the refrigerate dough part – out of impatience and I found it way easier to roll out and didn’t stick too much.
- If you want them crispy, roll them flat. Like super flat! Like really flat! Like even less than 1/8” otherwise they’ll be a bit chewy. Which is fine warm but once they cool off, that ain’t great. Do a test batch!

As agoldenafternoon pointed out, this would be a GREAT recipe to make w/ kids. I have no doubt that my girls would have LOVED to use a rolling pin to flatten the dough out, cut crooked lines using a pastry wheel and poke uncentered holes with a chopstick. Let me tell ya, pokin' those holes are a PERFECT activity for little hands (especially since bigger hands get bored pokin' so many holes). Even MORE PERFECT would have been using those little hands to move what seemed like thousands of cheese its at the time, over to the cookie sheet. It's such a shame that each time I made these (like 4 different times!!), the girls were too busy playing outside or too pre-occupied in their magical pretend world of play or not home at all to help me out. Oh well, one of these days we WILL make these together and they're gonna love it damnit!! :) Anyway, here's what my cheese-its looked like pre-bake.

And as I mentioned earlier, I had to buy a new rolling pin. My old one was one of those one piece, fatter in the middle rolling pins that just angered me the more and more I used it as it rarely left me with a nice flat, even surface. Not sure WHY anyone ever even bothered to design such a rolling pin - LOL! Ok, i'm sure there's a specific use for this kind of rolling pin but i just ain't for me so I finally broke down and bought myself this beauty! Smooth and evenly flat across the pin. Yeah! Ain't she grand?!? :)

Update 9/10/13: Just made another batch and here's a picture of them right out of the oven. Yum! :)

And here's the final product! Pretty cool, huh? Tested them out on the girls and a bunch of neighborhood kids and they seemed to be a hit! They were quite taken with the fact that they were HOMEMADE! :)

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berrygirl@mommy kiki can! said...

You're super funny!! (In a good way!!) Lol!! The Cheese-its look awesome!! I am forced to try this recipe out! I have three major vices little girls clothing, bento stuff and Kitchen Chotskies...and honey that pastry wheel and slick rolling pin are beauties!!! Off to drool at Williams Sonoma now!

Grace @ eatsamazing said...

They look gorgeous, I think I'll have to try them out myself very soon! (Although I may need a new rolling pin first, I too have a terrible one, which has some deep dents which leave 'prints' in the middle of anything I roll out)!

happyvballgirl said...

And you're super sweet, girl! :) LOL! 3 very nice vices to have! I always tell my husband, I could be addicted to far worse things! :) Have fun at Williams Sonoma! :)

happyvballgirl said...

Awww, thanks Grace! Like I said, super fun to make! :) Yes, new rolling pin made all the difference for me. Happy Shopping! :)

Amy Masterson said...

These look great! I forgot to put the memory card in my camera this morning before photographing lunches. I might try to redeem myself and try out this recipe. I bet they are delish! I have a one piece rolling pin but the one I love most is my grandmas. I think of her every time I use it. I like to think it makes my food come out better since she was an amazing cook!