Kid Approved, Homemade Cheese Crackers Recipe

By ERIN TURNER

I’m fairly confident that if you were to ask any kid if they liked Cheez-It crackers they would reply back with a resounding YES!  My husband and I tested this theory out today in our youngest son’s 4th grade classroom and our hypothesis was accurate.

Every week we have the pleasure of working in the classrooms of our kids.  It’s a great chance to connect and engage in our kids’ learning environments plus we get to know our kids’ friends and classmate…something which we love!  A few years ago, one of the teachers thought it would be cool if we taught the kids some cooking/baking skills.  She also envisioned this project tying in with her science and math curriculum.

Cooking is a real life situation where kids have to work with fractions (1/3 cup plus ¾ cup), experiment with chemical reactions (vinegar +baking soda, etc.) and it’s a life skill all kids need to learn.   We have really enjoyed leading this project and working with the kids.

This year we have focused on using whole ingredients and making things kids would normally buy in the store.  So, we’ve done homemade ranch dip, homemade donuts (quite the hit with the kids!), homemade macaroni and cheese, pancakes from scratch and lots of other fun foods.  Whenever we complete the cooking the class gets to sample the food and they are always so surprised how good homemade tastes.  Kids are requesting the recipes so they can make them at home.

One of the snack foods I know my kids love is Cheez-Its crackers.  I don’t buy them often because they are expensive and not extremely healthy.  But this week we put a homemade recipe to the test in the 4th grade class and I think it passed!  It is a whole food recipe without any processed food items therefore parents can feel good about their family eating this recipe.

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I’m sharing the recipe with you this week because I ‘m sure your kids would love to snack on these tasty little crackers.  I highly suggest having the kids help when you make this…it is a simple recipe and they will probably enjoy the crackers more since they made them.

The group we worked with today loved pulsing the food processor and poking the holes into the dough when it was rolled out.  It’s a fun recipe for kids to help with and for the most part they can almost everything if you just oversee their progress.

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When I make this again (which I will for sure!), I plan on adding a little more cheese.  We shredded and added only ¾ cup which is what the recipe called for but next time I think I might bump that up to a full cup.  I also plan on lightly sprinkling a little sea salt over the tops of the unbaked crackers.  They just needed a little kick.  You could sprinkle parmesan cheese to the tops, too!

Cost-wise the most expensive thing was the cheese.  I bought a brick of cheddar for $6.00 and only used about 50 cents worth of the brick.  This recipe made about 150 crackers for less than $2.00.  It’s a savings compared to buying the commercial brand.  But the experience of teaching kids how to make a homemade snack that is healthy is priceless!

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Recipe for Homemade Cheese Crackers:

  • ½ cup of warm water1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast (can find this in any health/natural food store)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 oz (3/4 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into pieces and chilled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix the warm water and yeast together.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes or until dissolved.

Meanwhile, place the flour, salt, baking soda, nutritional yeast, onion powder, mustard powder and turmeric in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Add the cheese and cold butter cubes then pulse until the mixture resembles the texture of fine crumbs.

Drizzle in the water and yeast mixture, pulsing until the dough comes together.  You may need to add more water or flour depending upon the consistency.  Remove dough to a floured surface and knead until cohesive, about 1 minute.

Divide the dough into two balls.  Wrap one ball in plastic wrap or place in bag and set in the refrigerator.  Then on the floured surface roll out the other ball until it is 1/16” thick.  Add flour as you roll so the dough doesn’t stick to the work surface.

Cut the dough into a rectangle then transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.  Prick the dough with a fork all over about 1” apart.  Then using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut into 1 ½ in squares.  Set the pan away and remove the other ball from the refrigerator and repeat the preparation steps for rolling it out.

Bake both sheets of crackers in the oven for 13-16 minutes.  They should be firm, dry and just beginning to brown on the bottom.

Let them cool and then store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  (Pretty sure they’ll be gone sooner than that!)

In this day of convenience and overly processed food, we love going into the classrooms and showing the kids that they have the power to say no to unhealthy foods without giving up the snacks they love.  Plus, they get to experience the thrill of being frugal!  Recipes like this definitely earn an “A” in my book!

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.  Read more of Erin’s blogs about homesteading, farming, homemaking and other fun things at TurnerFarmLiving.com
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