Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Allergy Free Homemade "Cheese-Its"

I would like to start by thanking Fork and Beans for this amazing recipe! A close friend of our family found this recipe and forwarded it to me and to be honest I thought it wouldn't be worth the effort but I was wonderfully mistaken! These are FABULOUS!!

Just a side note, if you have young children with food allergies, use discretion when replicating popular allergen-containing snack foods (especially those that look and taste an awful lot like the real things, as these do!) because it may make it difficult for them to determine if a food is safe or not when they are away from you, like at school or on a play date.

Allergy Free "Cheese-Nots"

3/4 cup wheat free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds (this might be good with Pepper Jack too!)
3 Tbs Soy Free Earth balance buttery spread
1 Tbsp cold water
About 1 Tbsp ourse salt for sprinkling

Pre heat oven to 375.
In a small bowl, stir flour, xanthan gum, and salt together until well blended. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat Earth Balance and Daiya together with a hand mixer until well blended. (You can also just use a fork and good ol' fashioned arm muscles!) Pour half of the flour mixture into the cheese/butter bowl and stir until nicely blended, then add the remaining flour mixture and stir until incorporated.
Add cold water and mix. You want the dough to be ever so slightly crumbly, not sticky at all, but wet enough that you can form it into a ball. If it's too dry, add water 1/2 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
On parchment lined surface, knead the dough into a smooth ball. Divide the dough in half and place one part in a bowl in the fridge. Roll the remaining half between two sheets of parchment to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel (or pastry cutter if you want to get fancy!) cut the dough into 1 inch squares. Using very gentle fingers or a metal spatula, move each square onto a large parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch of space in between each square. Once all squares are on your sheet, use a narrow straw to poke a hole in the center of each square. This isn't necessary but it gives it the authentic Cheese-It look! Sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt. Place sheet in the freezer for at least 10 minutes while you roll and cut the other half of the dough ball.
Bake for 17-20 minutes.

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