Homemade Cheese Its

You remember me talking about how we like to make things from scratch that are easier to buy.  Well Rob came across this recipe in his Ready Made magazine for home made Cheese Its (yes i know they aren’t spelled like that but I have no idea about copyrights on names) and I had to try them.   BUT they were way too high in points for WW so I tweaked.  Are you surprised??  If you are, you havent been reading my blog enough.  Haha.

The original recipe calls for only 5 ingredients.  I added a couple.  First of all I changed the cheese to low fat.  I KNOW, the sacriledge!!  Cheese is the epitome of yumminess and to a dairy farmers daughter anything that uses milk is essential to life.

I love cheese crackers.  I love the taste, the texture, and goodness knows I love me some cheese.  I think that has been the hardest part of WW has been giving up cheese and its products.  You can eat whatever you want on WW but honestly 1 oz of cheese can be 2-4 points.  That is alot of points for such a small amount, so I have been sparing.  This recipe, makes about 15 dozen!!  which when points are added up.. is only 2 points per dozen!!! Yeee Haw

yield: 15 dozen   adapted from Ready Made magazine
1/2 stick butter
6 oz low fat sharp cheddar
2 oz hard italian cheese (pecorino is what we had in the house)
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tbsp cold water

Cast of Characters

In your stand mixer, add the butter.

Grate cheese into the mixer.

Add the salt.

Beat the butter, cheese and salt on medium until incorporated.

Add the flour.

Mix until the consistency of coarse sand.

We decided to add some garlic powder at the last minute.

Slowly add water 1 tsp at a time while on medium speed……

Until it comes together.

Here is where I will tweak the recipe the most in the future.  The recipe calls for putting it in the fridge for an hour.  I will NOT be doing that.  It made it hard to roll out.   I ended up having to knead it a bit to soften it up.  So next time Iwill just cut it in half and roll away. 
So start off with a lightly floured surface.  I love my Pampered Chef roll mat, barely have to use any flour.

Pat half the dough into a disk.

Roll it until it is thin.  The recipe said 1/8 but i dont think that is thin enough.  So I would roll it as thin as possible.

Cut with a fluted roller or even just use a knife if you dont have a rolly thingy.

Take off the not pretty edges to roll out later.  Here is what they will look like.  See how they are not even.. I love that about homemade.

Put on a parchment lined baking sheet and poke the center out with a chopstick.  This will help them from puffing too much.

Bake at 375 for about 15-17 minutes.  These were in for about 14 minutes.

I think they like them…..

Even Rob who hasnt been feeling well enough to eat real food for 5 days, couldnt resist them. 

The results.  Well they were soooo tasty but a bit thick.  They called for rolling 1/8th an inch thick. I will go thinner next time and bake a little less time AND I will definitely use my Pampered Chef stoneware so they dont burn.  But they were so good and actually pretty fun to make.  As you can see by the masculine hand in some of the pictures, Nik made these with me and we totally had a great day baking and chatting.  Rob was in bed, until he smelled them done and had to sample, and Aaron was at Corries house so this was a fun project for Nik and I.  Granted I think I have about 4 dozen left after Rob and Nik finished but it was so worth it. 

Happy Baking!!


Bacon Bites

I found this recipe when a friend of mine posted the picture on her Facebook and everyone was oohing and ahhhing over them on her picture.  She pointed me to find the recipe on yet another food blog I have since fallen in love with.  Pioneer Woman is my kind of cook; alot of simple techniques and alot of flavor!  This recipe couldnt be simpler!  Three ingredients, one of which is bacon!   I slightly varied from her recipe and used the garlicky crackers and fresh grated cheese. 

I love the play of flavors on this and the only thing I would do next time is make the bacon a bit crisper.  All in all a great recipe, flavorful and pretty easy.   I took them to my friend Emilys party for New Years Eve, and they were pretty much gone in about 10 minutes.  Robbie thought they were okay but he likes his bacon crispier and he is all chemo mouthed and nothing tastes as good as it used to.   The boys also werent overly impressed but again they like the bacon crispier.  They liked the flavor but werent wowed.  I liked them and thought the were pretty yummy.   I can admit though I did feel my arteries clogging a bit.  Haha

I made them in the morning so Aaron could have one since he had to work and wasnt going to the party with us.  When I got to Emilys I just popped them back in the oven for 10 minutes on 350.  This helped them crisp up a bit too.

yield: about 36 per pound of bacon

1 lb thin sliced bacon
1 sleeve of Keebler Club Crackers (I used the Garlic ones.. yum)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (or Asiago or any other dry cheese like that, though Pioneer Woman uses the Kraft powder stuff and hers look good too)

Preheat your oven to 250 and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack over the  cookie sheet.  Cut your bacon in half , then get your cheese grated

Then lay out your crackers and put one teaspoon of cheese on each of cracker.

Then take a picture of your dog who is practically drooling from the smell of bacon and cheese.  And tell her to go to her bed.. you dont plan on dropping anything…….

Then the fun starts, gently pick up each cracker and place the half piece of bacon at the edge and top of the cracker like this.

And wrap until the cheese is covered.  It shouldnt have exposed cheese.

 When it looks like this you are done.  Wrap them all and get them placed on the rack.

Pop into the oven for 2 hours!  Yes two hours.  They will look like this..

Here is where I deviated from her recipe the most.  Like I said Rob and the kids like the bacon crisper.  I turned my oven up to 350 and cooked them for another 5 minutes.  I think in the future when I make them I will put them in for about 10 minutes additional (that is if I was making them ahead, if I was going to serve them right then it would be more like 15 minutes).    They were so rich and smoky and I think I might try them with a maple brown sugar bacon next time.   And double it.. haha  there wasnt enough to go around for more than 4-5 people!

Happy Baking!