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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

{happy food} man-cave snacks: homemade smoky cheez-its

She asked me if I minded that my husband was a gamer. I looked at her and tilted my head.  I said "I don't understand the question."

She looked me straight in the eye and spoke slowly "Your. Husband. Is. A. Gamer. Don't you mind that he spends evenings playing Xbox?"

I smiled at her.  I wanted to tell her that his job (at Xbox) and his passion for his work are one in the same. I thought about telling her how smart gamers are, how fine-tuned their eye-hand coordination is. I could have told her that I'm happy that he isn't somewhere partying. Instead he's here in our home playing Xbox Live with his friends. When he's happy, I'm happy. I knew she wouldn't get it though. So, instead, I said "I'm a lucky girl being married to a gamer." She shook her head at me, turned around and walked away. Clearly, she doesn't know any gamers.

The thing is, my husband loves Xbox and I love when he's happy. So, his Xbox space is comfortable and cool. There's chill lighting, a comfortable relaxation space to put your feet up and REALLY good snacks. Larry indulges my snack creations for The Happygirl and they've all been pretty tasty but last night I unlocked an achievement (!) with these homemade Cheez-its made from Sharp Cheddar and Smoky Blue Cheese. They have the crunch of the boxed cheesy snack but with just 5 ingredients, they are easy to make and the taste is phenomenal.

If you love a gamer, here's how to make him (or her!) happy with Homemade Cheez-Its.

{the happygirl guide to homemade cheez-its}


6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 ounces smoky blue cheese
1 cup white flour
4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 tablespoons ice water


In a standmixer or food processor, add the cheeses, flour, softened butter and salt. Blend and slowly add ice water one tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to come together. It should look fluffy. Turn off mixer and form dough into a ball.  

Divide ball into two and flatten into two discs. Place each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Place parchment paper on cookie sheets. Set aside. 

Removed both dough discs from refrigerator. One at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8th inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut 1 inch squares of dough and place on parchment paper. The dough doesn't spread so you can place the squares close together without touching. 

Continue placing squares on parchment paper. Do the same with the second disc. You should have two cookie sheets of crackers. 

Use the flat end of a bamboo stick to poke a hole in the center of each cracker. 

Place sheets on a middle rack at 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. Watch at 13 minutes. The crackers should look golden, not overcooked.

Remove from oven. Let cool and enjoy immediately. When cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (Though really, they won't last the evening. They are THAT good!)

  • If you don't have time to wait for the butter to soften, use a cheese grater to grate the butter. It will be the perfect consistency for this recipe. 
  • If you don't have blue cheese, you can use cheddar alone.
  • Be sure to lightly flour the surface you are using to roll out the dough. this dough can be sticky.
  • If you don't have a 1-inch cookie cutter, you can use a pizza cutter or a knife to carefully slice 1 inch squares.

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