In the South, we’re known for hospitality, especially for our ability to offer pickup foods at a moment’s notice. ‘Y’all come over, no- we’re just having pickup foods’ … It could be as simple as parched peanuts…or quickly toasting some buttery salted pecans, even pulling some cheese straws from the freezer and baking them off to put in a little silver bowl. I have to admit having a little snack greatly improves conversation! We tend to keep a box or bag of a favorite cookie or cracker, but we do have our standards! The best is a little 1 inch square cheese cracker we’ve all been eating, all across this country since the 1920’s! It’s dangerous for me to be in the vicinity of a bright red box of Cheez-its®!
The all time favorite snack cracker of my lifetime- Cheez-its®, to my way of thinking can hardly be improved upon; now, with so many different flavors on the market why would anyone even want to try? Well, on a scrap of paper found in one of my cookbooks- I had scribbled-
- Melted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Cayenne and Salt
*No measurements, no oven temperature, no bake time…were on that scrap of paper! Who even knew why I kept it? Recently, I needed a new pickup food. Of course I had a box of Cheez-its squirrelled away in the pantry! I have to tell you, everything else on that list has a permanent place here too! I thought about it- and here’s how I made them:
Camellia’s Cottage Sweet Spicy Snack Crackers
- I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, and poured the entire box of Cheez-its (12.4 oz size) into a large mixing bowl (approximately 4 cups more or less)
- I lined a sheet pan with parchment paper and I was ready to go!
- Cheez-its are baked not fried, so I melted a stick of Salted Butter on low heat.
- I mixed together 3/4 cup of firmly packed Brown Sugar, added 1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon, a couple of pinches of Cayenne Pepper (go easy here) and poured them into the melted Butter.
- On low heat, I waited until the Brown Sugar and spices were almost dissolved.
- I poured the whole pan of spicy sweet mixture over the Cheez-its and tossed to coat them well, then spread them out in a single layer.
- They were baked for 12-15 minutes, tossing occasionally until the crackers were shiny and the edges were carmelized.
After these Sweet Spicy Snack Crackers were pulled from the oven, I sprinkled a bit of Sea Salt over the top- not much now… When the crackers were cooled, I do admit to having to break some of them apart. *If not serving right away, I would recommend storing them in an airtight container.
The results after just one try- were, to my taste- worthy of offering as a pickup food to drop in company! I had some plump red grapes, a few fresh figs and small tangerines on hand. Okay, to make it seemed more like a healthy snack! It didn’t hurt that the kitchen smelled warm and spicy on an early Fall Day!
Love y’all, Camellia
*Cheez- it® are a registered trademark of Kellogg- under the name of Sunshine Bakery. This is not a paid advertisement, just a testimonial of how much we love them here at Camellia’s Cottage!