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Classic Snacks Made From Scratch:Cheesy Snacks

Now with any Snack Cookbook you definitely need a Chapter dedicated to Cheesy Snacks and I am so glad that the author Casey is on the same track with her cookbook,"Classic Snacks Made From Scratch". She has made sure to experiment with making some very popular cheesy snacks such as Frito's,Nacho Doritos,Cheetos and even the childhood favorite, Goldfish Crackers.I believe that many will have fun making all these creative recipes in the chapter,especially with their children.The only hard part of it all will be trying to choose which snack to make first.So that being said, it was definitely a challenge for me to choose what I wanted to taste test and review first.

So to begin, I let my intrigue and love for foodie photograph's lure me into choosing, the homemade recipe version of "Cheetos". I would of never thought it was possible to make these and I knew I had to test these out for myself.This original snack food has such a specific flavor and texture,which is very important towards comparing the original to the homemade.Now did this recipe actually reach my expectation? Well let's start by breaking down the recipe for all our creative cook's,baker's and cheese snack lovers out there.

Well to start with, the recipe directions were pretty simply broken down for anyone to understand and during the time I was following the recipe I even thought up some of my own tips and trick for myself.Now there is very little ingredients to this recipe;however their are a couple item's that may be hard for some to find.The cheese powder and buttermilk powder were two ingredients I really had to spend my time to look for and find a good price.The cheese powder I was able to find in bulk for a very small price while the buttermilk powder took me a little longer to find since I had no idea how it was sold.However I ended up finding it in one of the grocery store's bulk sections and not for the cheapest price.So if you choose to make this recipe be sure your able to use these ingredients again in many other recipes because we don't want anything going to waste.

Now, this recipe may be simple to follow;however it does have it's challenges along the way. I found that you definitely need time and patience for this recipe.So if you don't have those attributes then I recommend to stir clear of this recipe because you need to be calm to create a unique snack like homemade Cheetos.Where the time and patience comes into play in this recipe is the importance of chilling your dough,shaping and baking time.

The chilling process is very important to this recipe because it helps the dough become pliable and easy to work with so that you can shape your cheese curls.The shaping process definitely has a patience factor to it since you have to continuously shape each piece at a certain measurement;however along the way you end up making many different length's and sizes, so if you want perfection using a kitchen measurement is a good tool.Then lastly, we have the baking time where the recipe suggest 12-15 minutes to bake a large batch.Now this can definitely vary with each oven and how you like your texture.If you like a slightly crunchy Cheetos then 12 minutes is a key time;however if you want a crunchier Cheetos then bake for a little longer.I also learned that these itty bitty cheese curls need constant attention when baking.

The directions are very simple in this recipe that it makes the time and patience factor seem not that big of a deal,especially when you know that the taste test will be the final review.The funnest part of the recipe was  actually making, that all important cheese coating and figuring out how to blend all those spices without any of the suggested equipment.It was actually easier then I thought and you can see how I did it in the recipe below.This recipe definitely gets two thumbs up from me in creating a simple understanding for the viewer's.

So did this homemade version hold up its end of the bargain to the original.Well I was actually surprisingly shocked how spot on these were for flavor.It had a really sharp cheddar flavor with just a touch of a garlic within the baked cheese curls.It had that same powdery texture just like any Cheetos and the texture was just slightly crunchy;however with just a little longer baking time it would of been a perfect homemade version.I only wished this recipe made so much more because 9 dozen just isn't enough when you have so many people wanted to taste test themselves.Making another batch will definitely be in the cards very soon because we don't want any delicious cheese powder going to waste.Definitely,two thumbs up for this homemade version.

Make it yourself and you will see what I mean! Addicting and will tame any cheddar cheese lover out there!

The Recipe

Yields:9 dozen cheese curls
Total Time:1 1/2 hours,including dough chilling
Equipment:Stand mixer,spice grinder or mini food processor (My Tip:All optional)

Cheese Curls

4 tbsp (2 oz) Chilled unsalted butter,cut in cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp yellow cornmeal
4 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese,finely shredded (about 1 cup)

Cheese Coating

2 tbsp Cheddar Cheese Powder (Found in Bulk)
1/2 tsp buttermilk powder ( Found in bulk or package)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cornstarch

In a stand a mixer with paddle attachment.I creamed the butter,salt, and garlic powder, at medium-low speed for about 1-2 minutes.Then I turned it off and scaped the sides down.After, I began adding the flour, cornmeal and the finely shredded Monterrey jack cheese.Then I beat the dry mixture on low till it formed a firm soft dough or large breadcrumbs.I then packed the dough together to form a soft ball and then wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 hour,until firm.

Once the dough was chilled and firm.I preheated the oven to 350F and used a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

To form the dough I pinched off a small piece of dough from the chilled dough.I gently rolled the dough into a lumpy log resembling a Cheetos at about 2-2 1/2 inches length and 1/4 -1/2 inch across.Some were smaller and bigger,the more I did the more they changed in shape and length,so using a Kitchen measuring tape was a good reference to use.Then I placed the dough on the prepared baking sheet and I was able to fit a lot of them on one sheet since they don't spread or puff.

The recipe suggests 12- 15 minutes to bake the cheese curls. I baked them at 12 minutes and when cooled they had a slightly crunchy texture.A little longer it would create a crunchier texture. They are to be no longer shiny and and just beginning to brown around the edges Then I transferred them to a large baking sheet.Then I continued the assembling and baking until all the dough was gone.

Cheese Coating 

While the baked dough was cooling I prepared the cheese powder mixture.This mixture I found can be made in a few different ways.The recipe told me to use a spice grinder or mini food processor.If your one to not have these pieces of equipment like me.Then whisk the cheese powder,buttermilk powder,salt and cornstarch in a bowl until blended and then add the dry mixture into a blender for a better blend to break down the cornstarch.Then  transfer the powder mixture into a bag/resealable bag.

Then I place the cheese curls into the bag of cheese powder mixture and shook gently to coat all of them and let them sit for a second before eating.These coated cheese curls stay good at room temp in an airtight container for up to a week.

1 comment:

  1. I have such fond memories of these from when I was a child - I'm definitely going to give them a try... Thanks for sharing.


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