veganized cheezy crackers!

homemade vegan cheese crackers

I used to looove Cheez-Its and Cheese Nips. I never actually liked cheese, but I loved these salty, tangy crackers. Since going vegan, I’ve eaten quite a few of those Eco-Planet organic cheddar crackers, and they’re pretty good, in a healthy, not-as-greasy-or-salty sort of way.

I found this recipe for homemade Cheeze-Its, and it looked super easy to veganize. And so I did, sort of. I ended up basing it off a full bag of Daiya and changing the ratio on stuff. So here’s what I did (Remember, I am not a recipe developer. I am a careless cook who likes to share.):

8-ounce bag of Daiya cheddar shreds
rounded 1/3 cup original Earth Balance (tub, not whipped)
1 cup sifted flour
 ½ teaspoon salt

Since my kitchen is pretty cold (hello, Portland winter and cheap-ass “Who needs heat?” Michele) I figured it’d take a while for the Daiya and EB to come together, so I put them in a food processor until they started to mash up, so as to not overmix the flour and chance tough or gummy dough.

I added the flour and salt, then let it go until it all came together. It looked a little crumbly, but I dumped it on a board and it balled up, like so:

cheesy dough
Yes, shadows and bad lighting even during the day. Again, Portland winter, folks.

I rolled it out between two sheets of wax paper, like the original recipe said to, to about 1/8 inch. I think. I didn’t exactly measure it. Does anyone, really?

Then holes were poked…in a random yet interesting manner, using my favorite little gadget: the fork.

cheesy dough holes

I used another way-fancy tool to cut them into squares: the knife. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest you take the plunge and pick one (or a couple) up. You’d be amazed at what you can do with them.

After cutting, if they’ve softened up, stick your board in the fridge for just a couple of minutes to firm them up—it makes the transfer to the cookie sheet much easier. Depending on how salty you like your salty snacks, you could sprinkle them with a finishing salt, like my favorite, Marlborough flaky. You don’t want anything too heavy.

Into the oven they went. I did my first batch at 350° and they took forever (read: 15 minutes). The second batch went in at 370° and were done in about 10 minutes. Thinner ones will cook faster than fatter ones, but you could probably figure that one out yourself. Be patient—undercooked crackers will feel more like cookies, and that’s just weird.

I wanted an extra little tang to these…but I’m not sure how I would change the recipe. I’m still eating them selfish-shameless-toddler-style, but I think they could be better. I may try these using Teese or a sharper melty cheese. Anyway, not a total disaster. (Of course, if you look at the photos on the linked recipe, these look NOTHING like them, but whatever.)

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