I have this friend, she makes a perfect French 75 (or sometimes 77) as soon as I walk in her door, no matter what hour of the day it is (don’t judge me), and there’s always a pile of delicious, homemade, healthy food served up with it. Her name is Macki, she’s a seriously prudent mama, and she also blogs about food and recipes at Family Kitchen. Today she is going to show us how to make healthy, preservative-free cheez-its in a totally do-able amount of time. Take it away Macki…

I’m a sucker for a cheese cracker, and when I’m hit with a craving it’s got to happen now. Unfortunately, I don’t keep these crackers around the house due to my cracker monster husband and baby boy. Now I’m stuck with the need of going to the store, but I found a way around it. I can whip up a batch faster than grocery store run!

Get the quick & easy cheez-it recipe after the jump…

How to Make Cheeze-its The Easy Way, by Macki

For those of you without kids, this may be a slight exaggeration. For those with kids, you get it. I’ve got 2 kids and going to the store means wrangling them into the car seats, driving to the store where they both have to have their own mini cart. God forbid another child is using one. Then, cart wars begins. Slamming into one another, tossing every fruit and veggie within arms reach into those carts (yes, I should be thankful it’s healthy food, but I’m not). Heading to the cracker/cookie/candy aisle to get these Cheez-Its is a fear of mine. You see I have never taken my kids down that aisle. I made the mistake of getting bread on the cereal aisle once, and bodies were thrown onto to the floor grasping Trix and any other colorful sugar filled box. Never again. Perhaps I could make a run for it? Oh, I forgot, before this grocery store scene of mayhem can begin my little guy has to wake up from his nap…in 2 hours.

This is what led me to my kitchen to peek in the cheese drawer and jump with delight at the sight of extra sharp white cheddar. After that, everything fell into place, including the extra unsalted butter that was left out at room temperature. The stars had aligned. Now let’s make these cheesy treats…

All you have to do it bust out the food processor with the grater attachment and grate 8 oz of sharp cheddar (or whatever cheddar is in your fridge, but sharp is best).

Remove the grater attachment and replace with the chopper. Add 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt (increase to 3/4 if your cheese in not sharp), 4 tablespoons room temp unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard. Pulse until is resembles a crumbly mixture.

Slowly add 2 tablespoons cold water until a ball of dough forms. Remove that ball of dough and divide it in half. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes (I couldn’t wait so I just went with room temp). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the dough out between the 2 sheets of plastic wrap, my older non-napping kid loved this.

Use a pizza cutter to slice into squares. I gave this job to mykid, which she is very proud of, although her squares were diamonds of varying sizes, but I don’t mind. Use the flat end of a toothpick (or break on in half) to poke a hole in the center of each cracker.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment and transfer the sliced cracker dough. They can be pretty close together because they don’t really expand and it’s always exciting to have a few ‘doubles’. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they are slightly golden (I like mine dark golden). If they are soft in the center, continue baking for a couple minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool enough to eat, and scarf them down.

Hi, it’s Jaime again. Macki, you’re the cheesiest. So, Scarlet saw these pictures and now we are planning to make some of our own cheez-its tonight. Right after I get done baking ombre cakes, inspired by Macki’s round up of 10 Beautiful Ombre Cake for Summertime Parties. Thanks ladyfriend!

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