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Cheese Crackers!

Cheese Crackers!
isn't she lovely?

isn't she lovely?

Isn’t she wonderful? Look at those crackers. They’re makin’ me crackers! I generally stay away from making snacks like this. I don’t really need them too often, just here and there for my kids, so I usually just cough up the cash for Glutino pretzels, and buy some conventional brand chips that are gluten-free, and call it quits.

But these are different.

These crackers are super-simple, seductively elegant, inexpensive to make, and terribly versatile. As pictured here, they’re rounds. But you can make them in any old shape you like. Cut the dough into strips, and they’re sticks. Roll the strips end over end, and they’re cheese puffs. Cheese puffs!

Cheese Crackers
Ingredients
1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and then kept cold
1 cup finely grated cheese, preferably cheddar
4-6 tablespoons milk (any kind with at least a bit of fat), chilled

1. Mix the flour, xanthan gum, and salt in a medium-sized bowl until well combined. Add the cheese and stir to combine.

2. Using a hand-held pastry blender (or simply two knives, or a food processor, if you prefer), cut the diced butter into the flour/cheese mixture until the mixture resembles small peas. The idea is for the butter to be in small pieces, and each small piece to be swathed in the flour mixture.

3. Now add the milk to the mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon, first stirring to combine, then squeezing the mixture, adding milk and squeezing until the dough comes together into a cohesive ball. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour, up to overnight.

4. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap until it’s about the thickness of a nickel (about 1/8″ thick, for those of you who are wondering what a nickel is). At this point, you could uncover the dough and dust it with more flour, but that would cost extra. Instead, the dough will be super easy to handle without an extra dusting of flour if you simply place it — still covered in both sheets of plastic wrap, flat on its back in the refrigerator to chill for another 10-15 minutes. In the meanwhile, line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Once the dough has chilled again, use a biscuit cutter to cut rounds and place them evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets. Place in the preheated oven and bake, rotating halfway through, for about 12-14 minutes, until pale golden brown (or darker, if you like).

I must apologize for the radio silence of late. Can you ever forgive me?

Warmly,
Nicole

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Comments are closed.

  • Tracy H
    May 11, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    To join in on the Xanthan Gum discussion…Plain or unflavored gelatin can be used in place of Xanthan gum. I use it same as Xanthan gum, tsp for tsp, to great success.

    As for the crackers, they look muy delicioso! Recently started back at college and these look like they’d make great snacks to take to class with me. And of course the kids would enjoy having these to munch on too!

  • kathryn
    February 24, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    I live in Wisc. so I can’t speak for everywhere but the SuperWalmart by me has started to carry a lot of gluten free items along with some of the more basic flours for gfree baking. Xanthan gum included. It’s about $12 but my last purchase has lasted me about four months now(and I still have about 1/4 cup left!) and that’s including Xmas baking! Also in my own experiments I am finding that you don’t need as much xanthan gum as a lot of recipes call for and most times I can halve the recommended amount. You can make things like pancakes without it (providing your mix has plenty of starch) depending how puffy you really want them. Guar gum is supposed to be cheaper however I do believe you use more so it may really be a wash in the end (price wise). I have not tried it myself.
    Off to make those delicious looking crackers … oh how I miss Cheezits!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • February 20, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    I am wondering if you can leave out the xanthium gum or use something else instead, any ideas?

    I am new to being wheat free but love crackers and have not found one that I like so I thought I would try and make my own.

    • Nicole
      February 22, 2010 at 12:55 AM

      Hi, Nora,
      Xanthan gum acts as a binding agent to substitute for gluten. You cannot make gluten free foods that contain substitute flour blends without xanthan gum or something like it. You can buy it at most health food stores. It is expensive, but you use it very sparingly. I hope that’s helpful.
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • December 20, 2009 at 8:42 PM

    I am enjoying your site and appreciate the emphasis on low cost. About the all purpose gluten free flour, do you use Bob’s Red Mill or your own blend? I used to have extra flour (my mom is gluten intolerant) and I had trouble finding “tried” recipes that could use it all up.

    • Nicole
      December 28, 2009 at 4:23 PM

      Hi, Renata,
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. I have been using Better Batter for a while now. I like it a lot, but I still also like Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour. You can find Better Batter at http://www.betterbatter.org. I hope that’s helpful!
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • Jane
    December 6, 2009 at 3:06 AM

    Ok, finished crackers. They did not get rolled out as thin as needed and the final result was chewy and pale, but still yummy. We will make up more dough tomorrow and try to have dough on hand to make crackers everyday. Thank you for the recipe, I am not a baker so this is a good starter recipe for me.

  • Jane
    December 5, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    I am trying as we speak and so far, the dough prep has been well, a nightmare – but we are refridgerating again and trying a second time. I have assistance this time.
    I have not had luck trying to roll out dough that has been in the fridge for 24 hours. My husband, taller and stonger, is doing it for me since it’s too tough. I’l try out the rest. Stay tuned!

    • Nicole
      December 9, 2009 at 1:13 AM

      Hi, Jane,
      I’m glad it finally worked out. Don’t worry, you’ll develop a sixth sense about baking. I promise!
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • […] is also a recipe for gluten free cheese snack crackers that are superior in every way to the ones I occasionally splurge on and can be prepared at home […]

  • Mike Irwin
    November 5, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    hey nicole, did a couple of batches yesterday. first one i burnt second set I got right, decided to make some more today. I varied the receipe a little and will let you know how it turns out. Sorry I didn’t explain myself the other day tho. I can’t use cow milk but I’m ok with butter and cheese. So I used lactose free milk, then I also added a bit more cheese to the mix(provalone and some cheddar) then a little bit of garlic butter just to experiment. And you’re right I like these ones alot better. You can actually taste the cheese, unlike the glutino crackers. cheers and thanks for this receipe
    Mike

    • Nicole
      November 6, 2009 at 12:11 AM

      Hi, Mike,
      I understand. I’m glad you didn’t have to make too many substitutions, then. I’m glad the recipe worked out well for you!
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • Meg
    October 28, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    Glad you’re back, Nicole! We missed you. :)

    Recently, I tried to make bruschetta using the sandwich bread (from two postings ago). Alas, despite toasting the bread before baking it with the topping and cheese, my lovely bruschetta was soggy as the lovely state of NY right now. Do you have any recipes for a baguette, or some other trick to make GF bruschetta with non-soggy bread?

    Meghan

    • Nicole
      October 29, 2009 at 2:11 AM

      Hi, Meghan,
      Thanks!
      There is a recipe on the site for french bread. That would probably do well as bruschetta. I’m surprised the sandwich bread didn’t work well. I bet it would work if you sliced it thick and let it sit out on the counter overnight so it gets a bit stale. But maybe try the french bread.
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • Mike Irwin
    October 27, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    Hey Nicole, the receipe looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it. But alas I am lactose intolerant. So to add the fat do you think I can put a teaspoon or tablespoon of olive oil in far the fat? I have to use soy milk now for everything.
    Thanks
    Mike

    • Nicole
      October 28, 2009 at 3:17 PM

      Hi, Mike,
      Lactose intolerance, huh? When I used to bake dairy free, I had two substitutes that were invaluable, and saved the day every time: Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (you need something solid, so olive oil won’t do), and Vegan Gourmet dairy-free cheese (which actually melts beautifully, and comes in a block that can be grated). Both are soy products, and are the best substitutes I have found. I would imagine that there are also more conventional margarines that are lactose-free, too. I hope that helps, Mike!
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • October 26, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Awesome! Love this website and have been trying the recipes…. because of costs and energy I had to go back to gluten for a few days and now I’m as itchy as heck:)
    Can’t wait to make the crackers they look awesome!

    • Nicole
      October 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM

      Hi, Nancy,
      That’s awful! You can eat gluten-free on a tight budget. I promise! Keep reading…
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • October 26, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Hey..I just made crackers yesterday!
    My recipe is a bit different. I will have to try yours.
    we love crackers over here, but they are kinda a pain to make.
    Thanks for the share

    • Nicole
      October 28, 2009 at 3:19 PM

      Hi, Fire-Eyes,
      These are really easy, and the dough holds up really well, unbaked, in the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy them!
      Warmly,
      Nicole

  • Amy K
    October 26, 2009 at 5:58 PM

    Crackers! Fabulous. I bought a box of brown rice crackers recently and they were disgusting. Will be trying this pronto. You are my hero.

    • Nicole
      October 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM

      Hi, Amy,
      I know what you mean. So many things out there are awful, and expensive to boot. Not worth it! I hope you enjoy these. :)
      Warmly,
      Nicole

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