OK, I’ll go ahead and admit it. I”m coming out of the cracker closet:
I could sit down and eat a box of Cheez-Its in one sitting — maybe two. I’m only human and Cheez-Its are so addictive they’re hard to resist. Quitting smoking was even easier that saying good-bye to those salty, cheesey, crunchy little crackers.
But as good as they are, putting them out for company just doesn’t seem right. That’s when I bring out my pantry staples and jazz them up a bit, altering their taste just a bit with a packet of either dry ranch or zesty Italian dressing and some melted butter, then setting them on fire with red pepper flakes.
Word to the wise: Don’t waste your money on generic cheese crackers. The cheese flavor is not as intense and won’t work in this recipe.
Firecracker Cheez-Its are now my new addiction. And maybe they’ll be yours too. At least they’re a little fancier for company fare than opening up a box and empyting it into a bowl. Though, if someone did that at a party, I wouldn’t say a word. I’d be the first to grab the bowl and head back into the closet.
1 (12.4-ounce) box Cheez-Its
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 (1-ounce) packet ranch or zesty Italian dressing
2-4 teaspoons red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, or to taste
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour Cheez-Its into a large bowl and toss with remaining ingredients. Spread evenly on a large baking pan and bake for 15-25 minutes, tossing a time or two. Let cool completely, then store in covered container or a large resealable bag.