The things that I miss most from my gluten eating days are cheesecake brownie icecream, blueberry cake doughnuts, and Robin Eggs. My husband misses very different things: cereals and snack crackers.
Specifically Cheez-Its and Goldfish. He is so picky about his cheese crackers that he wouldn't even eat Cheese Nips, only Cheez-Its would do. And whales? Nope! Only Goldfish.
When my husband started eating gluten-free this past summer I immediately began working on an appropriate cheese cracker substitute. I've done many batches, adjusting each new recipe based on his critiques. This is what I've come up with, and they are pretty darn close. The one thing that is still missing is a little bit of flakiness, which can be difficult to get in gluten-free foods without them just being delicious crumbs. These crackers hold up well, and don't crumble like my past batches. They also have lots of cheese flavor. My husband was very impressed!
Next time I make these I will try chilling the dough, and being careful to not over-work it. Hopefully that will make them a little more flaky and then they will be perfect. If you try that please let me know how it turns out.
You can also get creative with your cracker shapes! Use a cookie cutter and cut circles, goldfish, flowers, or even gingerbread men. Whatever you fancy.
¾ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ c. powdered cheese (like the cheese sauce mix in mac 'n' cheese)
½ c. rice flour
¼ c. tapioca starch
¼ c. potato starch (NOT flour)
¼ c. cornstarch
2 tsp. xantham gum
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ c. butter
¼ c. vegetable shortening
⅓ c. milk
First, mix together the cheeses, flour, starches, xanthum gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together at medium speed until it is all combined and the shredded cheese has started to break up into smaller pieces.
Add the butter and shortening and mix until it is blended in with no pieces bigger than a pea.
Add the milk and mix just to combine.
Roll out ⅓ of the dough at a time, between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is ⅛" thick.
Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and cut the dough into 1-1 ½ " squares. I used my pizza cutter for this.
Put the little squares onto a cookie sheet and poke a little hole in the middle of each cracker using the tine of a fork or a toothpick. Sprinkle the crackers with salt. You can put the crackers pretty close together on the pan as they shouldn't spread.
Bake at 400F for 5-6 minutes. You will need to keep an eye on your crackers and may need to adjust cooking time based on your oven, or how thick your crackers are. They can burn very quickly if they are rolled too thin, but if they are too thick they won't be crisp and you may need to cook them longer. You can tell when they are done when the bottoms are just starting to brown, and they are crisp.
Remove the crackers from the cookie sheet, and start snacking.
If you like your crackers "flavor blasted," sprinkle another tablespoon or two on top of the crackers and toss.