Cheez Whiz. I know, right? It's the sort of lowbrow thing that I could easily see being secretly in love with. But I'd keep it a secret on account of the flavored plastic it's almost certainly made of and I wouldn't want you to judge me and my flavored-plastic-loving ways.
Good news! I think Cheez Whiz tastes like feet.
What that means is that I need not hide my hideousness from you. I can show you The Real Me. Well, as much of The Real Me as I honestly think that any one person can take at any given point in time.
I think I'm an acquired taste. Just ask my husband of nearly 15 years. And since, on any given day, at least half the readers of this blog are brand new around here, I gotta go light on the Nicole. You're welcome.
So the fact that I think that Cheez Whiz is the devil's plaything allowed me to work on convincing real, honest-to-goodness Asiago cheese (a personal favorite – but you can use any hard cheese) to dress up like a thick cheese sauce.
It worked beautifully. And if these don't taste like a grownsup version of actual Ritz Bits cheese crackers, then I don't even know you any more. Well, I don't even know the half of you who have been here before today. I know that I don't know the half of you who haven't even been here before today. But I thought that I at least knew the first half of you. Capisce?
Flaky and buttery, these crispy crackers are just as lovely as you remember Ritz crackers to be. And no, Ritz does not make gluten-free Ritz crackers. But I do. ;) Fill them with this simple yet smooth, deep-flavored Asiago cheese mixture and you'll be sneaking them out of your kid's lunchbox while she's brushing her teeth in the morning. Oh, come on. Like you never do that.
Gluten-Free Ritz Bits Cheese Crackers
2 batches of Gluten-Free Ritz Crackers
8 ounces Asiago cheese, cut into a large dice
6 ounces (1/2 can) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Make the double batch of gluten-free Ritz crackers according to the recipe directions, using a fluted 1-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to make mini crackers. Allow the crackers to cool to room temperature.
While the crackers are cooling, make the cheese filling. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the Asiago cheese and evaporated milk. Cook, whisking frequently, over medium-high heat, until the cheese is completely melted. Add the flour, and whisk to combine well. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the butter until it is melted. The cheese will be somewhat thick, but still easily pourable. Transfer the cheese mixture to a medium heat-safe bowl, and allow to sit at room temperature until cool (about 10 minutes).
Once the cheese mixture is cool, place it in a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized plain piping tip. Turn half of the cooled mini Ritz crackers upside down. Pipe about 1/4 teaspoon of cheese filling onto the underside of those crackers. Top each with another cracker, right-side up, to close each sandwich.
Store any leftover cracker sandwiches in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.