All right, so this is really more like a Cheez-It/Wheat Thins Hybrid if you make the healthy version, but the indulgent version is a little closer to the original, without being scarily florescent. Our family was actually more partial to Goldfish Crackers, but the Cheez-It shape is a little easier to mimic then the snack that smiles back.
The superstars: Red Bell Pepper, Lemon Zest and Creamy Homemade Cashew Butter. Flavor Profile Inspired by Shira’s Incredible Red Pepper Cheese Sauce at In Pursuit of More.
Vegan Cheez-It Crackers
- 1 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (GF peeps can use an equal amount of GF flour + 1 T. ground flax to replace regular flour)
- 1/4 C. cashew butter, OR 2 T. cashew butter + 2 T. grapeseed oil for a flakier cracker (I went with all cashew butter)
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 T. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 -1 t. sea salt (saltier is more realistic)
- 1/2 t. lemon zest
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 1/2 t. mustard powder
- 1 t. onion powder
- smidge cayenne
- 1/4 t. liquid smoke
- 1/4 t. paprika
- plant milk of choice, as needed
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor or power blender, combine cashew butter, bell pepper and all the seasonings until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the flour and mix til just combined, you don’t want to overwork the dough. The dough should be slightly wet and sticky. If it seems too dry, add plant milk a teaspoon at a time until dough is moist. I didn’t need to add any the first time I made these, but I needed a bit the second time. Roll dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper (otherwise it’ll stick to the rolling pin and you’ll have to add more flour, we don’t want that…) or two silpat silicone baking liners. The crackers should be VERY thin. Thin enough to cover the whole full sized silpat and fit on a large baking sheet. Score the crackers into little squares with a pizza wheel, knife or a cute crinkle cutter like mine if you have one. Poke a little dent in the center of each cracker with a chopstick (this is just for decoration, do it however you like). Sprinkle the crackers with additional sea salt. Bake crackers for around 10 minutes, watch them closely, because the edge pieces can burn easily. Remove crackers from the oven and then remove them from your parchment paper or silpat and put the crackers back on the baking tray without the parchment paper to crisp them up a bit. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until crackers are golden and firm. Watch them carefully! Let cool and enjoy!
Tools of the trade: Crinkle Cutters and Chopsticks
omg, what about the WHITE CHEDDAR ones< can ya do THEM?!?
Just replied to you on facebook baby, but I can’t pinky promise it’ll be the same 😉 xx
Omg Somer! Those look amazing and just like the real ones!! But better because they have yummy REAL ingredients! Seriously awesome!
Haha! They were too much fun to make! I heart REAL ingredients! What are we still doing up girl?!? xx
LOL! I know right….catching up on blog reading…haha 🙂
I just don’t have time during the day to read much with my little baby, so it happens in the middle of the night! I’m going to share your recipe on facebook too, btw..I used to DEVOUR cheez-its! 😉
I was doing the editing for my post and blog reading as well. Thanks for the share! xx
Oh wow! These look scrumptious. Perfect for lunch boxes 🙂
Yes, I packed some up for my kidlets this morning! They love them! xx
wow. these make me hungry:) is cashew butter easy to make at home? Do you have a recipe? thanks
Haha! They’re pretty tasty! Do you have a blendtec or vitamix? If so do 3 Cups raw or roasted salted cashews. Blend cashews on high speed. Stopping and scraping over and over again (lots and lots) until completely smooth. This should take about 3-4 minutes
You can also do it in a food processor, but it’ll take 10 minutes or so before it’s smooth 🙂
I just have a food processor. I could try my local natural foods market, they might have a machine to make fresh butter. Thanks for the recipe:) I got this try this making these this weekend..my 2 year old would love them.
You can make the cashew butter in the food processor following the instructions that are in my Tahini Post: https://vedgedout.com/2013/01/02/toasted-sesame-tahini-pictorial/ Otherwise you could probably buy cashew butter in the nut butter sections of your health food store. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
Thanks Somer. Will try it out this weekend and let you know:)
Great! Have fun!
My mum loves her cheesy crackers! Gonna have to make her these for mothers day!
I can see why she loves them! Used to be one of my favorite snacks. That would be so sweet of you to make these for her Alexander!
How cute are those?! They look spot on, girl. So funny that we both had cheez crackers on our minds :-).
You mean we both used to love florescent snacks?!? Gasp! 😉 #stalkersyndrome
I’ve never made my own crackers, but I totally need to do it! Very cool!
They’re pretty easy! Plus they cost pennies compared to boxed vegan crackers. Even the vegan ones have stuff like TBHQ and stuff sometimes to keep em’ fresh.
These are beautiful! Sounds great.
Why thank you! 🙂
I love you for posting this! Cheez-its are one of the few processed foods I indulge in every so often. These look easy enough that I think I’ll be able to whip up a quick batch in less time than it would take to pick up a box at the store.
Exactly Katie! And SOOOO much better for you! xx
SOMER!!! First of all, miss you greatly. Second, Cheez-it’s are Maggie’s addiction and I cringe when I buy them for her. She loves to bake so we are going to make these together. So exciting. Love you! Debs
Debbie! It’s so great to hear from you! I miss you and your girls too! Yeah! You need to make these, They’re not going to be spot on, you know since you’re not adding skim milk powder, hydrogenated oils, and radical scary color, but they ARE tasty and I think she’ll like them! xx
Cheez-its are one of my very biggest weaknesses so if this replaced it I would owe you my first born! LOL
Try them, and then we’ll deal 😉 xx
you got it!
I’ll be fairer than Rumpelstiltskin…. you know, allow visitations and stuff. Haha!
That’s okay, I don’t want kids anyway so you’d be doing me a double favor! HAHAHAHA!
Love it! 🙂
WOWZA! I swear you need to start your own mail order company, cause I’d order 1 or 16 boxes of those right about now! 🙂
Too time intensive to make a profit, but these actually may ship well! They’re pretty sturdy and not likely to spoil quickly! xx I’ll trade you for some of that kale lasagna!
The fact that you have a crinkle cutter makes me feel so much better about my horde of tools 😉
you will feel even better when I tell you I have two, in different sizes, of course 😉
O M G. Fantasy food. I had quite a love affair with the packaged bits in graduate school and can’t imagine actually being able to come close to that without the icky crap. Wow. Thank you.
Do it now…. I just made a second batch to send off with the kids to school! Really delicious! xx
Thanks for the tip… These are def on the to do list! I’m in love with your crinkle cutter too 🙂
Of course! I reckon sunflower butter would work as well. Enjoy Lucy! xx
Fab…. I even have some sun butter in the cupboard 🙂
Oh my goodness those look too good….how did you not eat the whole batch before taking the pics?
They are very filling, so you don’t need too many! 🙂
Reblogged this on Canned Time and commented:
I had to share this fabulous cracker recipe from Somer at Vedged Out….WOW, I could gobble up a whole batch of these! Very cool, thanks Somer!!
Thanks for Sharing Angela! Hope your readers love em’ too! xx
All thanks to you for showing us so well how to bake up these cute little bites!
I love making old favorites in to new healthier versions.
Thanks Somer ♥
Of course : ) xx
no kidding.. i need some crackers to snack on right now!!
i am going to love this flavor profile.. and that color.. so pretty!!
I wanted to do this for the guest post, but didn’t have the flavor profile down yet…. Lots of test batches before the big reveal. The color is super pretty! xx
Emmmm Cheeze (its) 😉
🙂 🙂 🙂
Looks great!! With an ingredient list like that I am salivating just thinking about it. 🙂
Crackers that seem oh so bad, but are oh so good for you. Winning!
wow look at these – they look amazing!!! I love that you added the red peppers – I am sure they must be quite addictive? 🙂
My cracker making starting with your flax and sesame cracker post! They are still my favorite, but these fill a special craving I sometimes have 🙂 Very addictive, but filling too, so you don’t need too many to satisfy the craving. Which is nice, because I used to be able to down a packet of chips or crackers…. xx
Looking amazing! That top picture looks like an add for the real thing. Loving it. So much!
Thanks Shira, I don’t often get that involved in food “design” this was was pretty fun! xx
I’m going to try these!
I used to be a cheez it addict in my dairy days. Now I can reinstall my addiction! Thanks Somer! ; )
Of course! I’ve been browsing some other bloggers (real dairy) cheez it posts today. Man, those guys use a lot of fat, maybe that’s what made their crackers so flaky. Like a pie crust. So if you want it more flaky…. 😉
These look so professional! I thought the first photo was actually a photo of the originals, but no, that’s all you! You ROCK!
You are too sweet Gabby! They were super fun to make! Hope you are enjoying a nice break my dear. xx 🙂
Crinkle cutter and chopstick – such great ideas! Thanks!
No worries! 🙂
Holy cow, I can’t wait to try these!!!
waw! I love your special cheese crackers a lot! A lot of ingredients went into the dough!!! A really genius idea, Somer! waw!
Thanks Sophie! I tried a simpler version, but it just didn’t taste right… I’m into complex flavors… hence so many ingredients! 🙂
Me too! I haven’t seen you on my blog lately! I miss your positive commnets too! 🙂
Oh wow! I seriously want to eat these, now now now! I have a crinkle cutter and chopsticks too! What am I waiting for? Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back on Friday to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again this week. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:
Justin totally misses cheeze its- they were his favorite especially the Tabasco spiked version! I think I need to surprise him with a batch of these!
Oh my gosh, you could totally spike them with Tabasco! If you use all vegan butter they’ll be more flaky, but the cashews contribute to the cheesy flavor, so it’s a toss up, but they’re yummy either way!
I used to devour the Tabasco Cheezits before I went vegan (in Feb 2013). Anybody have a suggestion of what to add/how much to add that little kick? Also, I am a total novice when it comes to cooking ( iused to live off processed foods), where can I buy a “crinkle cutter”. I am happy to discover another use for nutritional yeast. I love it on my “cheese” popcorn.
Oh man, what a delicious idea. I would start with 1 teaspoon Tabasco in your first batch, plus a hefty shake of cayenne pepper. You can up the heat from there. Here’s the crinkle cutter that looks similar to mine: http://www.amazon.com/Dezine-Black-Handled-Crinkle-Knife/dp/B000THCXZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372215909&sr=8-1&keywords=crinkle+cutter
However, you can totally just cut the crackers into squares with a pizza or pastry wheel for less fuss. Best of luck!
This is so cruel….I’m on a hundred day juice fast and came across the photo for the Cheeze-its. Darned near licked the computer screen. Good Lord, but they look amazing. Can’t WAIT to make them!
I am so TRULY sorry! If it’s any consolation, when you finish your fast, at least these are relatively healthy… xx 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the fast, that sounds amazing!
I made these with a very skeptical outlook. I was skeptical all the way up to pulling them out of the oven. The dough tasted too salty when I rolled it out, it was dern hard to get off the parchment paper because I’d rolled it so thin. The dough smelled just odd and I thought for sure I had put too much nutritional yeast because of the strong odor. The edge crackers burned because I’d rolled it too thin, the middle ones didn’t quite get crispy because I didn’t roll it quite thin enough in the middle. Then I smelled them as I pulled the pan out of the oven. It smelled like….cheese! I tasted one and waited for it a moment, then BAM, it hit the back of my throat with that same zing that cheez-its do and I immediately wanted another perfectly salty treat (like I do with Cheez-Its). The over browned ones were even more delicious and the middle ones were totally tasty. They came off my pan with ease and sadly, I only got like 4-5 of them before my children devoured all the rest. Since I rolled it so thin though, I have enough dough left to make another half pan for myself before they get home from daycare…muahhahaha!
Radical! Pure love! Thanks so much for letting me know! xx
Crinkle cutters Who knew? wow certainly these crackers are things of beauty.
Aren’t they cute?!? I saw another cheez-it food post where someone used a pastry wheel for an even more realistic looking cheez-it, but they weren’t vegan, so I win 😉
I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks a million for posting/creating these! One question, should I bake them as one whole sheet with scores or should they actually be fully cut into crackers before being baked?
Scoring them might work fine, but I cut all the way through mine just to be safe 😊
These look phenomenal. I loooooove cheez-it but don’t eat them anymore due to all the artificial stuff used. I am going to have to try these.
Would it make much difference if I left out the liquid smoke! They look delish!
It just adds a bit more flavor, go ahead and leave it out 😊
Can I use all purpose four instead of pastry? Couldn’t find it at the store..
Thanks! I wasn’t sure what the difference was. Making these tonight for my kiddos.
Whole wheat pastry flour is simple whole wheat flour that has been ground very very finely. It is great for baking since it still retains all the nutrients of whole wheat flour, but some of the lightness of white flour.
White flour has less fiber and nutrients, so that’s why I typically use whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour in my recipes. But, of course you can use white flour anywhere whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour is used in a recipe.