When you can no longer eat gluten, there are always a few gluten-containing junk food items that you find yourself craving. For me, these treats are Wild Berry Poptarts, Vanilla Oreo ice cream (also known as Cookies and Cream), and Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its. I finally decided I have had enough practice to try and make my own Cheez-Its and I was so pleasantly surprised with my results that I need to share the recipe with my followers. These Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its have the same texture and taste as the boxed version, but I decided to incorporate the spices into the dough, rather than as a powder that coats the cracker.
This recipe will yield about 150 square crackers (the same size as boxed Cheez-Its) and the crackers will last well in either a Ziplock bag or an air-tight container. If you want them to last for even long, store the crackers in the freezer (the same way you would a bag of chips to keep it from getting stale). Finally, I use two types of gluten-free flour in the recipe because this mixture results in the marvellous texture that so closely resembled the pre-packaged gluten-containing product. You are more than welcome to use your own gluten free flour of choice and results will be great as well. I have experimented with many mixes available in grocery stores and they all have worked.
I have had many requests for a recipe for plain Cheez-Its and it is super simple to adapt this recipe. For just cheese-flavoured crackers, leave out the chili powder, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and hot sauce.
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar (I like Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar – it’s naturally lactose-free for my fellow lactose intolerant people out there)
- 1 ½ cups Cup4Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Better Batter all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco hot sauce (or another hot sauce of your choice)
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 tablespoons cold water (added 1 tablespoon at a time)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for water and mix together with a fork or wooden spoon.
- Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together in a ball. The dough should not be sticky, but also should not be falling apart.
- In batches, roll out the dough to thickness of a quarter. Use knife to cut into squares. After use a skewer to poke a hole in the middle of each square. Move squares to parchment-lined baking sheet using an offset spatula.
- If you want the real Cheez-It look, use a fork and gently press the edges of the squares after you have moved them to the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack. This step is very important so the crackers don’t become soggy.