13 March, 2019
How many of you can go into your pantry and find a box of Cheez-Its? You’ll find more than one in mine. I love these things! Did you know you can make them at home? They taste just as good or better than what you’ll buy and they’re really easy to make. You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of this post.
But before we get to that, here’s a bit of history behind the crackers.
Cheez-Its were invented in Dayton, Ohio in 1921 by Weston Green. He was the president of the Green & Green Company. They made lots of different crackers but Cheez-Its are their most famous. These are made with wheat flour and real cheese and then seasoned with several different flavorings. It’s said that paprika is the one seasoning that gives them that special flavor. When these little crackers were first released they were referred to as “a dainty cheese cracker”.
In 1929 the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company bought out the Green & Green Company and then renamed themselves the Sunshine Biscuit Company. In 1996 Sunshine was bought out by the Keebler Company. Yup! Those elves are making Cheez-Its in their trees. In 2001 Kellogg’s acquired Keebler as a subsidiary and as of 2019 Kellogg’s is still the owner of Cheez-Its.
Cheez-Its have been hailed for having a unique taste. At one time their slogan said they were like a baked Rarebit. If you’ve never had a Welsh Rarebit, then you should try some. I’ll see if I can find a recipe.
At one time these little cheese crackers weren’t very well liked. Mainly because there weren’t any standardized bakery procedures. Sometimes there was too much oil or not enough and the same with yeast and the other ingredients. Today, it’s a totally different story. Bakery procedures have changed over the last 30 years and all product ingredients are standardized so they always come out the same.
Cheez-Its now have over 40 different varieties and flavors like Pepper Jack and mozzarella as well as reduced fat and Hot & Spicy which is made with Tabasco.
There have been lots of different television commercials and several different slogans like “You’ll Like Cheez-It”, “The Big Cheese” and (my personal favorite) “Get Your Own Box”. A talking wheel of cheese is often shown in the commercials as their mascot. You’ll see him in various stages of maturity but most often as a prankster adolescent.
Let me get this posted for you so I can go find my box!
- 8 ounces Freshly Shredded Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/4 cup Butter, (1/2 a stick), softened
- 1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2-3 tablespoons Cold Water
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried Herbs
- Chili Powder
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the cheese, butter, salt, and flour. Stir to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix until a dough forms (this may take a minute or so). If needed, add an additional tablespoon of water.
- Divide the dough in half and roll into logs. Wrap the logs of dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Roll each log of dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. (The crackers will puff up in the oven.) Use a dough scraper or a straight-edge ruler and a pastry wheel to cut the crackers into one-inch squares. Spread on the baking trays with space between the crackers.
- With a toothpick, make holes in the centers of each cracker. Bake until the crackers are crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure the crackers do not overcook and brown too much!
- To re-crisp leftover crackers, toss on a baking sheet and heat in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes.