Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers and Straws

by Jeanne on July 12, 2009

Summer is the time of being out and about for my family. We’re always on the go–to the lake, beach, pool, play dates, whatever. This means we need a constant supply of portable snacks. Of course, summer is a fabulous time for fresh fruits and veggies, but crackers are always in demand.

The other day, Erin, aka The Gluten Free Illustrator (go check out her site, it’s beautiful!) was on Twitter asking for a gluten-free cheese cracker recipe. That reminded me that I have a great recipe that we’ve been using for a couple of years–and I promised that I would post it on my site. And, here it is!

This recipe is adapted from the Crazy Cheese Straws recipe in What’s Cooking: A Cookbook for Kids (inspired by the movie, Ratatouille ). This is a super-cute cookbook, by the way, if you can find it. And, it has a forward by Thomas Keller, of The French Laundry restaurant and cookbook, and Bouchon bistro and cookbook. Keller is my pantheon of chef gods! I am so inspired by his work.

This is a very versatile recipe–you can use it in several ways. We usually use it for cheese straws:

or tiny cheese crackers (a la Goldfish Crackers):

The cheese straws are fast and easy. The tiny cheese crackers are more time-consuming, but are so charming and yummy, they are worth the effort. And the cheese crackers are so handy to have around, especially for kids, when everyone else is eating gluten-filled Goldfish Crackers.

Note: this recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the crackers and sticks)

Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers

Special equipment needed:
-Small animal cookie cutters–Ateco has a cute collection of them

-if you want bigger crackers, cutters of any shape you’d like
-food processor (you can get away w/o one, but it really makes the process go faster)
-rolling pin
-Silpat mat

1 1/2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix
6 TBL butter, softened
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C grated Parmesan and/or Romano (we use just Parmesan)
1 egg
1/4 C milk

-Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper
-place flour, butter, and the cheeses in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse off and on for about 1 minute–until the butter and cheese are evenly mixed with the flour

-Add the egg and pulse until it’s incorporated
-with the processor running, pour the milk through the feed tube and blend until the dough forms a ball-blob:

-Place 1/2 of the dough on the Silpat mat in a blob-ball (sprinkled w/some tapioca flour:

-Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8″ thick:

-Cut out shapes and place on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet:

Gather, re-roll,and cut out until all dough is used (do the same with the second blob of dough). I got something like 140 crackers out of the dough, plus extra to make some cheese straws. The crackers completely filled 2 cookie sheets.

-Bake for 18-20 minutes. Time will depend on how crunchy you want them to be. I baked them until they were brownish around the edges:

-Cool in pan until you’re able to pick them up
-store in airtight container

These are great to take on trips or as an easy snack for kids (and adults). Mine don’t last very long–they are yummy and fun!

Gluten-Free Cheese Straws

Follow same process as for cheese crackers. Instead of rolling out the blobs of dough with a rolling pin, pick out a small piece, roll in your hand into a ball, and then roll the ball into a cylinder:

-Repeat until all the dough is used
-place cylinders on greased or parchment-line baking sheet
-bake for 18-20+ minutes (again, how long will depend on how crunchy you want these–experiment to see what your taste is).
-again, store in an airtight container

These are also great for on-the-go snacks. Or as nibbles with cocktails.


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison December 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I can not wait to try this recipe I have been craving cheese-its and all the GF cheese crackers I can find in the store are not cheesy enough or worse they used powdered cheese on the outside to up the flavour. :D


Jeanne December 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Alison: Yay! These are so good. I just made them for a party this weekend–I brought them to the same party last year and everyone (including wheat eating people) loved them and asked me to bring them again this year!


Tracy February 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Oh these are not at all like goldfish crackers…they’re what I wished goldfish crackers tasted like! So good! I have tried so many gluten free crackers and hated them all. Now I have a great cracker to deliver the smoked salmon to my mouth (I made them into squares). Thanks yet again!


Jeanne February 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Tracy: Yay!!


Raisha January 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hi, I want to ask if you just want to make a simple plain cracker but shaped in animals, hearts, etc and I am allergic to milk & eggs, can I remove the eggs, and cheese, and use suet/lard or vegan butter? Please advise. If you have recipes that already show this I’d love to read them bye! ^-^


Jeanne January 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Raisha: I think the only savory crackers I have on my site are the cheese crackers. I will be working on more recipes for this type of thing (I realize that this is a definite “hole” in my repertoire.) That said, I would check out my post about substitutes–it has links to other gluten-free bakers/bloggers who are doing vegan baking.


Lucia September 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

Can you activate the printer friendly version? It is so much easier to just take the recipe into the kitchen! Thank you for all you do for us!


admin September 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Lucia: Sure! I don’t know why I don’t already have it up. Will do that now.


Emily July 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

I really liked these, but my kids said they were too “cheesy” and my six-year old is my Celiac patient. =) I was wondering if I could substitute some milder cheeses and perhaps still come out with an okay result? I was thinking maybe colby jack? Could I sub out some of the parmesan as well do you think? Again, I really really like these, but I guess the flavor is not quite as bland as goldfish for them! =)


admin July 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

Emily: Yes, you can totally substitute any kind of cheese you want to. Just make sure the total is the same!


Emily July 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Great! I will play around with the cheese combos then. =)


Lucinda June 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

The recipe sounds great and enjoy reading all the reviews. the fact that they are like goldfish is a plus! Lucinda


Ana November 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I made these last night crackers n cheese sticks. But I had to hand mix which was hard. This maybe a stupid question but is the ninja a food processor.? Also the sticks n crackers came out a little chewy, almost as if they were stale, what did I do wrong?


admin November 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Ana: Yes, they can be chewy. They get more crunchy the longer you bake them.


Pam July 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

Made these last night – yum! Cocktail party worthy, even! I sprinkled coarse salt on top too. Next time I might roll in little balls and squish flat to make rounds. Thank you!


admin July 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Pam: Oh, I’m so glad! And rolling into balls and flattening is what I do for rounds in my upcoming book–yay!


Steph @ WildCrickets February 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I’m making these now, and they are divine! My daughter declared them better than any boxed cheese cracker – gf or no gf!

I do have to admit my weirdness. The first batch of sticks were so wonky that I actually got out my decorator bag and tips. lol Now everything is nice and straight. :)

Thanks for the great recipe!


admin February 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Steph: Oh, I’m so glad! And I get the desire to make them look less wonky. My sticks always look wonky!!


rwect February 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

ohh! i just tried to make some cheese crackers the other day- what a disaster, i wish i had looked here first, these look fantastic, mine looked… drastic.
will try them next week and let you know how they go- thanks again for your innovation


admin February 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

You’re welcome! Let me know what you think!


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