If you had to pick your absolute favorite snack, what would it be? Mine would be, without a doubt, cheez-its. I practically lived on them during my college days and I still love them. But seeing as I'm much older now and my waistline won't forgive me if I snack on them endlessly, I've switched to homemade crackers. To avoid missing the real thing too much, I decided to make them extra delicious. Say hello to my new favorite snack: spicy ranch cheddar crackers! They're a flavor bomb with just a subtle hint of spicy, just what I need.
Spicy Ranch Cheddar Crackers
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (99 grams)
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour (49 grams)
- ¼ cup butter, cold, cut into small pieces (57 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
- ¼ cup ice cold water
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- Make the dough for the crackers. In a food processor, pulse together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, butter, salt, and cheddar until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the cold water and pulse just until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour. Roll out the cracker dough until it's paper-thin, about 1/16 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheets. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 1-inch square crackers. If desired, use the blunt end of a toothpick to make a small hole in the center. Bake the crackers for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Separate the crackers and place them in a large bowl. Mix the melted butter with chili powder, cayenne, onion powder, dried parsley, dried dill, garlic powder, and sugar. Drizzle the seasoned butter over the crackers, tossing to coat. Microwave the crackers for 3 minutes, tossing every minute.
- Spread the crackers on clean parchment paper in an even layer and let cool completely.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
These spicy ranch cheddar crackers follow a basic cracker recipe but with the added twist of the seasonings. It's great because you can easily swap out the ingredients and it'll still be great.
For the dough, I used a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for a little extra heartiness. However, you can stick to only all-purpose flour.
Sharp cheddar is the most common choice for cheese crackers, but you can get adventurous and switch it up. Smoked gouda, white cheddar, and Colby jack cheese would all be fun options.
Use a food processor to blend in the ingredients for the dough, then wrap it up and chill for 1 hour. This will make it easier to roll out the dough later.
Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour, only just enough to prevent the crackers from sticking. Then, roll out the dough until it's paper-thin. The crackers will puff up in the oven so you want to get them rolled out as thin as possible.
Cut the dough into about 1x1 inch squares. If you want the fancy cheez-it look, use the blunt end of a toothpick and make a small hole in the center. The crackers won't spread in the oven so don't worry about spacing them out on the sheet trays.
Bake the crackers until they're beautifully browned and let them cool completely. Once they're cool, break up the crackers into the cut pieces.
Now we're going to take the basic cheese crackers to the next level and finish them with the spicy ranch seasoning mix. This recipe is mild so crank up the cayenne powder if you want a spicier cracker.
Toss the crackers in the seasoned butter mixture and microwave them for 3 minutes, tossing them every 1 minute. If you don't have a microwave, bake the crackers in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes, tossing them halfway through the baking process.
Spread the spicy ranch cheddar crackers on a clean sheet of parchment paper and cool completely before digging in.
I always thought homemade cheddar crackers aren't the same as the actual cheez-its. But, these crackers are so flavorful that I would gladly have these over the original any time!
For more snack inspiration check out these potato mushroom croquettes!