Now that school is back in session, I spend the first few groggy minutes of each day filling small, earth-polluting plastic bags with mass-produced, chemical-laden snacks. I don’t feel great about it, so I’m always looking for ways to substitute something homemade in the lunch bags. I do alright with the main part of the lunch and the fruit or vegetable, and I can make muffins or something for the morning snack, but the kids really want something salty and crunchy to go with their sandwiches.
Homemade crackers are really easy to make, especially if you have a food processor. It’s simple dough that you roll out thin, cut into shapes and bake. Your kids can make these, and in fact, it’s a fun project for them. For those of you crafty types who like to make things pretty, you could get out some of your small cookie cutters and make crackers in whatever festive shape you’d like. If you’re like me, just grab a pizza or pastry cutter and cut them as close to square or rectangle as you can. (I prefer to think of it as “rustic” rather than “messy.”)
Use whatever kind of cheese you like, and experiment with different herbs and spices. The nice thing about making crackers is you can just taste the dough before you roll it out to see if you like it. Try a Mexican taco spiced one, or one with Italian cheese and rosemary. Since I’m trying to replicate Cheez-Its, I just used cheddar and salt, but go wild. This dough is pretty hard to mess up (as you’ll see in the step by step instructions!)
Now which one of you crafty types wants to make me some reusable snack bags?
The Recipe (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
2 cups shredded cheese
1 1/2c flour
1 stick softened butter
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
¼ to ½ tsp spice of your choice (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix by hand, or pulse in a food processor cheese, flour, butter and salt. Taste the dough and season as needed. Turn out onto parchment and knead a few times into a ball and flatten a bit. Roll between two sheets of parchment until very thin, about 1/8.” If the dough is too soft, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill. Cut the dough into desired cracker shapes with pizza cutter or cookie cutters. Prick each cracker with a fork, and sprinkle with salt, it desired. Bake for 15 minutes.