I love snacks. They’re my favorite food group. My favorite snacks are crunchy, salty and flavorful (preferably flavored like cheese!). Nacho Cheese Doritos! Cheez-Its! Cheetos! I love them all.
What I don’t love about them is all the crap that’s usually in them. Normally I solve this issue by buying Trader Joe’s versions and pretending that Trader Joe’s versions are naturally healthier. However, when I stumbled on this pin from my friend’s “Healthy Toddler Snacks” board, and read the line “They literally taste JUST like the store bought kind!” I knew I had to try them for The Pintester Movement!
To be clear, I was incredibly skeptical of her use of the word “literally”. But the ingredients are something like cheese, butter, flour, salt; so I figured it would be delicious no matter what. Also, I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand.
The morning I chose to make these I was very short on time, so of course I decided to try ANOTHER pin while the Cheez-It dough was chilling.
The second pin needed to cook for 30 minutes and the dough needed to chill for 30 minutes. Perfect! Plus, I’ve been eating vegetarian lately, so I’ve been looking for more protein based snacks that aren’t nuts. Not that I don’t like nuts. I love nuts. Sweaty, salty nuts. Mmmmm. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. And, with only four ingredients (a can of garbanzo beans, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper) and four steps (drain and rinse, mix with spices and oil, put on baking sheet, bake) I figured it would be a breeze.
This post sponsored by Trader Joe’s. I wish.
Now, normally when I cook I listen to my intuition. I substitute anything I don’t have for things I do, anything I don’t like for things I do, and I change quantities freely depending on what I think will taste best. But since I was doing these pins for The Pintester (who we know follows all instructions faithfully!) I decided to make these snacks per the instructions.
That was my first mistake.
The second was not realizing until it was too late that the butter ingredient on the Cheez-Its was actually softened butter. If you recall, I was on a very tight schedule so I searched the interwebz for a magical way to soften butter without waiting an hour. And you know, I actually found one. Zip-loc bag + rolling pin + smashing = softened butter.
After softening the butter with my rolling pin, I realized that the softened butter was actually supposed to be UNSALTED softened butter. <sigh>
The mixing of the dough and forming into patties went much more smoothly (except for the part where the batter didn’t even taste very good) and I put it in the fridge while I worked on the next pin.
Yes, my kitchen really is this messy.
If you’ll recall, this second recipe only has 4 ingredients. 1 of those 4 ingredients is cayenne pepper. I don’t really like cayenne pepper. If it’s mixed with other spices I don’t usually notice it, but on its own? Blech! Normally I would substitute red pepper flakes or minced garlic (or both!) or at least decreased the amount of cayenne, but for your sake gentle readers I followed the recipe as it was written.
Rinse, mix, spread, in the oven! It all went by without a hitch, so I set the timer and jumped in the shower. *Note: The rest of this pin was completed au naturel. Don’t judge.
Thirty minutes and one stir later they came out of the oven…meh. Some were so burned even I wouldn’t eat them. And there was Just. Too. Much. God. Damn. Cayenne. Pepper! Which is why they earned:
The “Exterminate! Exterminate!” Award
But there was no time to linger in disappointment because I had some cheese dough to roll and cut and bake! This is where things got a little tricky. Do you know how much an eighth of an inch is? I apparently don’t. Do you have a fluted pastry cutter? Not me! How about parchment paper? Nah.
Also I have trouble with squares. Also even sizes.
I think the most crucial element I was missing was the ability to judge an eighth of an inch, cause these babies came out thick and underdone in the middle. I continued to cook them until they were done all the way through, but still. They lacked the crunch of a Cheez-It. And more importantly, they lacked the CHEESY FLAVOR of a Cheez-It – the most delicious part! I maintain that was the fault of the recipe, not the cook.
Although they did not taste very much like Cheez-Its, they actually were pretty tasty. How can you go wrong with cheese, butter and flour, really? Which is why they have earned:
The “Would Serve to The Doctor and The Bloggess” Award
What do you think fellow Pintestes? Would you like some of my cheesy dough lumps?