Homemade Black Pepper Cheez-Its

Appetizers, Snacks

Crunching on things helps me think. And I’ve been thinking a lot lately. My brain is full of life thoughts, to-do lists and stuff…all resulting in me being spacier than normal.

My brain doesn’t have space to remember where I put my car keys. There’s other more important things to have room for!

But seriously, WHERE ARE MY KEYS?!

I have a million dollar idea for us. Don’t worry it’s not a weird pyramid scheme or anything.

Here it goes: I want to invent noise stickers and attach it to everything important. Like my sunglasses, wallet, credit card, car keys, laptop, etc., so every time something is missing, I’ll be able to go to  a console where I’ll be able to page those things. Each item will have a different sound assigned to it so I’ll know which buttons to press. .

This is genius, no?!

I’m pretty sure we can make billions off of this. 

Since we’re technically inventors now, we’ll be thinking a lot, hence our need for stuff to crunch on. That’s where these cheez-its come in!

Homemade crackers are about the easiest thing ever to make. The dough comes together in five minutes–in a food processor, no less.

The tricky part comes with the rolling out the dough. You want it super thin. This dough is going to want to naturally puff up in the oven.

I wanted the cheez-its to be uniform so I broke out my measuring tape. Let’s be cheez-it pros, guys.

I rolled it out and then cut it a 12 x 6 rectangle. And then using my measuring tape as a guide and using my ravioli cutter, I cut 1 x 1 inch squares.


Next, I used the blunt end of a skewer to make a hole in the center of each cracker. This does two things: makes it so they don’t rise, and gives them that cheez-it look. Cute!
Homemade Black Pepper Cheez-Its
Recipe adapted from The Lee Bros. (via Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces

3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough roughly into a 13 by 7-inch rectangle that is 1/16-inch thick. With a pastry wheel, trim off the sides into a 12 by 6-inch rectangle. Next, cut the dough into 1  by 1-inch squares. Using the blunt end of a skewer make a hole in each cracker. Gently transfer the crackers (I needed to use a sharp knife to get them off the table) to a parchment lined baking sheet. The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of kosher salt all over the pre-baked crackers.

Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Serve at room temperature.

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59 Comments

Leave a Reply

  • Reply Romina February 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    What brand and size food processor do you use?

    • Reply Adrianna February 26, 2013 at 12:02 am

      I have a 3-cup Kitchenaid.

  • Reply Naomi December 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    These look lovely and delicious! But just so you’ll know, the cheese in your picture is shredded, not grated. Grated cheese is tiny, like what you do to Parmesan. Or nutmeg. It will make a difference in your recipe too. You have large shreds of cheese, and it IS what you want in this recipe. I like the touch with the zig zag cutter too. Yours turned out so nicely.

  • Reply Katrina October 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

    This is such a cute idea!
    I think I may bring these to family thanksgiving!
    I noticed people mentioning gluten free ideas. Tapioca flour is a great substitute, it is really hard to taste the difference between this and wheat flour.

  • Reply Debra Fernandes July 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

    how do I transfer to Enlish ie cups to ounces as for flour also is 1 1/2 teaspoon or 1and1/2 teaspoon black peper etc am desparate to try these

  • Reply Noel February 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

    My kids loved them. I used gluten free flour for one batch. My kids liked the one with gluten free better than the gluten ones. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Adrianna February 3, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Whoa. This makes me SO happy. Also, good to know they can be made gluten-free. Amazing.

  • Reply 50+ and on the Run October 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Oh, these look great–gonna try these tonight while answering the door for trick-or-treaters! And thanks for the milk tip–I never have half-and-half around the house.

  • Reply Aybige-The Cat's Notebook September 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Adrianna! Lovely blog, I started to look today page by page. Great idea this recipe and I would like to try but what is “half and half”? Cheers.

    • Reply Adrianna September 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Half & half is definitely an American thing. Sorry! Half & half is simply half parts heavy cream and whole milk. You can substitute regular milk or heavy cream–should be fine. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Mindy August 29, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    WOW – fantastic, we couldn’t stop eating them, and I can send these to school, they pass the healthy snack test – the teacher doesn’t allow the box Cheez-Its but will allow these. Even my 15 year old son who loves Cheez-Its and was a skeptic and thought why bother, it’s just easier to open the box, realized these are probably healthier than the real thing and better! Thank you for your creativity, I found your blog from PW and I follow you regularly.

    • Reply Adrianna August 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Awesome, Mindy! So glad. Yay.

  • Reply frog3knitter August 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    If anyone is interested… : )

    I use a coffee stir straw to poke the holes in my crackers.. : )
    AND… with the leftover edges that I cut off to make my squares… I roll them into a long thin log and roll them in sesame seeds, cut them into small bite size pieces and bake them up golden brown for my hubby… he loves him some sesame seeds : )

    Enjoy!

    • Reply Adrianna August 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      I bet they’re awesome with sesame seeds! Love it.

  • Reply Gina August 14, 2011 at 1:40 am

    If I could only use one word for these…it would be A-mazing!! But since I can never say just one word…hahaha…just wanted to let you know how fabulous I thought these were. My bf and I gobbled these up so fast that I will have to make another batch tomorrow to enjoy at a more leisurely pace. I think I’ll play around with some spice combos…maybe cayenne and parmesan? Can’t wait to make some more 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Wendy of Wendys Hat August 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Wow! These look incredible!

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