Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ah -HA moment

Those of you who may frequent the Amish Markets in your area, you may see this on their shelves:

Mmmm powdered cheese. Hahaha, I've seen it for years, kinda went 'ick' and passed it by. Then I had my mom get some for me when I thought of using it to make my own cheddar chex mix. (that won't happen until we finish our bag of actual cheddar chex mix....)

As I was going through my school web site for ideas...I came upon the copycat recipe of Cheese Nips then came the AH-HA. I can use those bags of cheese powder AND make my own white cheddar ones too. COOL!!!!

I made these for Super Bowl snackies, I didn't include it on my SB post. I felt they deserved their own posting!

Copycat Cheese-Its/Nips

adapted from Top Secret Recipes

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup
divided and reserved for kneading and rolling)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Cheese powder (or 2 packages dry cheese powder from 2 boxes macaroni & cheese)
3 tablespoons shortening
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt (for tops, I accidently left the salt off one batch and it definitely needs salt on top.)

1. Blend together 1-cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cheese powder in food processor.
2. Blend in the shortening with dry mix in processor. Mixture will still be very dry.
3. Add buttermilk until dough becomes very moist and sticky.
4. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the reserved flour over the dough and work it in until the dough can be handled without sticking, then turn it out onto a floured board, being sure to keep 1/4 cup of the reserve flour for later. Knead the dough well for 60 to 90 seconds, until the flour is well incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a light coating of cooking spray on a baking sheet.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use the remaining reserve flour to dust a rolling surface. Roll about one-third of the dough to just less than 1/16th of inch thick. Trim the edges square (a pizza cutter or wheel works great for this), and then transfer the dough to a lightly greased baking sheet. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough. Simply pick up one end of the dough onto a rolling pin, and roll the dough around the rolling pin. Reverse the process onto the baking sheet to transfer the dough.
(I found this impossible to do, the dough was just too delicate. I suggest using a pastry cloth or plastic wrap. I just cut them on the counter and used a spatula to transfer the little squares)

7. Use a pizza cutter to cut across and down the dough, creating 1-inch square pieces. Use the blunt end of a skewer or broken toothpick to poke a hole in the center of each piece. (I used a chop stick)

8. Sprinkle a very light coating of salt over the top of the crackers (crackers will already be quite salty from cheese mix) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes (check after 8 minutes for the bottoms were quite brown for me) mix the crackers around (so those on the edge don’t burn) and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes (I turned them over and did only 2 extra minutes) or until some are just barely turning a light brown. Repeat the rolling and baking process with the remaining dough.

*Makes approximately 300 crackers. (UM, I don't think so. I didn't count them. But this became so laborious my squares were getting bigger to save time. Just like the bigger squares, cheez-its. I was fine with having about 60 crackers)

*K-man thought these tasted just like the real ones. I didn't think they were as cheesy as the real ones. All in all, when they say "get your own box" yourself the them. Don't make them. Your kids may think this would be fun. One of my students did this as a cooking project. His were kinda thick...LOL. There are certain foods/recipes that you just leave up to the professionals.

If have made the following recipe. It was really cheesy tasting, perhaps it was due to it using REAL CHEESE (not powder). Try these out:

Cheese Pennies
Yield: 3 dozen

* 1/2 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
* 1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature
* 1 cup all-purpose flour (baking mix can be used too)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* cayenne pepper
* pecan halves optional

Combine butter and cheese and mix well. Add rest of ingredients, except pepper and pecans. Add a few grains of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each into a cylinder (silver dollar size), wrap in foil and freeze. To serve, partially defrost roll, cut slices 1/4 inch thick, top with pecan halves if desired and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan while warm to prevent breaking.

These I've made and they were not only yummy but not as much effort has to go into making a good cheese cracker!!!

1 comment:

HoneyB said...

How cool is this! They even look like a Cheez It cracker!