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Hi! So on my trip last month, one of my sisters gave me a suggestion for my blog. I told her about the time I had tried out the recipe for that “cookie/brownie in a cup” thing and about how it didn’t work. And she was like, “you should test out Pinterest recipes and crafts and blog about it”. And I thought, “Hey, I’m cool with trying out suggestions and seeing if they work.”
So I’m going to give it a try! If I find that it’s super boring, either to write about or to find good experiments for, then I won’t push it. But I am open for new things. 🙂 Also, if any of you guys have any suggestions for me to try, feel free to let me know! (Though I’ll warn you that I’m pretty cheap and untalented, so I’m most likely to experiment with things that are close to what I already know I can do. You know, no steak omelettes or building a cabinet single-handedly.)
So here’s my first one! Since I had this whole intro, and I’m trying to keep my blogs from going TOO long, I’ll just share with you my first experiment of the week: HOMEMADE CHEEZ-ITS!
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 tbsp cold Butter cut into small pieces
2 tbsp Shortening
1 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1 cup Flour
2 tbsp Ice Cold Water
Blend the cheese, butter, shortening and salt together on medium low speed in a stand mixer
or with a hand mixer.
Add the flour and mix on low to incorporate (the dough will be dry).
Slowly add the water just until the dough comes together in a lump.
Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour your work area and roll out the dough very thin (less than 1/8″).
Use a pastry cutter to cut into 1″ squares and use a skewer or toothpick to put a hole in the center of each.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light brown at the edges.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
When we cook at my house, we don’t ALWAYS use exact measurements. I’m sure it’s that way in many homes. But if eyeballing it means that everything is messed up, sometimes it’s not worth it to make! 😉 But anyway
The cheese was what was leftover from a 12 oz that we used a portion of for supper, but I’m pretty sure it was about 8 oz. Just in case it was more, I put in the 2 tablespoons of butter and then a tiny bit more. For Kosher salt, my mom suggested I use a tablespoon from our big bag of pretzel salt we have. (You know those soft, frozen pretzels that have the little bags of salt for topping? Well since my brothers eat those ALL the time and the open bags are always spilling, they just empty it into this massive zip loc bag that holds it all. It’s pretty efficient, and came in handy tonight.)
Sometimes I forget to read the directions completely, so in this instance I put the flour in too early and then tried to take it out. (Because I’m never sure if messing something like that up is small, or is an “OH NO THE WHOLE DISH IS RUINED!” kinda thing.) It half worked, but as I mixed the ingredients, it didn’t seem to have messed it up. And by the time my food was ready to be rolled into a ball, it looked like the online picture. I even tried some raw dough and it tasted like Cheez-Its! 😀
Rolled it out, cut it up with a pizza cutter, and skewered the holes with a skewer. All the pieces were weird shapes (some I made into circles) and they varied in thinness. But hey, if you’re not a machine, you can’t expect them to look perfect, right?
And… they’re done! They came out in a variety of crispiness versus… not crispy? Some kids called them fluffy. Here’s the poll on what everyone thinks!
Mom: They taste good (both crunchy and fluffy) but clearly the crunchy ones taste more like the original. But buying them is much more cost effective, due to how many you get from each batch.
Dad: I like these! They’re not exactly like Cheez-Its, but I could see how they’re kind of like them. They’re fun.
Elizabeth: It was oily. But it tasted like cheese at least? When I thought they were cookies I thought they were gross. They’re more cheese than crackers.
Nathan: I like them best when they’re medium (slightly) crispy and hot. Not as dry as the originals, and they could use more salt. They have similar qualities, but are not identical.
Micah: Not enough flavor. The lighter ones are good on crunchiness and have the potential for flavor.
Joel: They don’t really taste like Cheez-Its. They’re “eh”.
Bekah: I liked them once I realized what they were. They’re actually very fun.
Seth: I think they’re awesome when they’re fluffy and not as crispy.
DID WE LIKE THEM?
Mostly everybody liked them. Dad, Bekah, Mom and I all think they’re fun. Joel, Micah and Elizabeth are iffy on it. Seth prefers the thicker ones, Nathan the thinner. Bekah liked them after she realized what they were. Mom says that despite how fun they are, it is clearly more cost effective to buy a box of Cheez-Its based on how many come out in a batch.
ARE THEY LIKE CHEEZ-ITS?
They have a resemblance to them, but are not identical to the original. Could use more salt; not as dry; it’s more like cheese than like cracker; a little oily; not enough flavor, according to some. Best when they’re hot, according to Nathan. But generally? They weren’t bad!
So, that experiment was fun! I don’t feel like we would ever make these again. I think the novelty of trying out “homemade Cheez-Its” was greater than the actual result of them. But they were definitely worth a shot, and they were gobbled up quickly.