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Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, and not only does it call for just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand, but it’s so simple. When the crackers emerge from the oven, they are buttery, crispy and seriously cheesy! About an hour after I packed them up, I decided I needed just one more, and upon opening the container was hit with the most glorious cheddar cheese aroma.

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

By Tracey

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

from America’s Test Kitchen Feed

(Note: the annatto seeds are completely optional, they just give the crackers their orange color. I didn’t have any luck finding them locally and ordered mine from Amazon.)


  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon annatto seeds, coarsely ground
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 cups) finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


In a heatproof bowl, stir together the water and annatto seeds. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the seeds and save the (now orange) liquid. Let the liquid cool to room temperature.

Add the cheese, butter, salt, and pepper to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture comes together and starts to stick to the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and cornstarch, beating until incorporated – the mixture should look like coarse sand. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid the annatto seeds steeped in and mix just until the dough starts to come together. (If the dough seems too dry, you can add up to 1 tablespoon of additional plain water to bring it together.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle with a thickness of 1/16-inch. Using a pastry cutter (or if you don’t have one, a pizza cutter or sharp knife will work) cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips, then cut 1-inch squares from those strips. Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheets – you can pack them in pretty tightly, they don’t spread much.

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

Grab a skewer, and using the flat end, poke a hole in the center of each dough square. Bake the crackers until the edges just begin to turn gold brown, about 18-20 minutes. Allow the crackers to cool completely on the baking sheets. I thought these were best on the day I made them and 1 day later, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for 3 days.