Nabisco Reduced-Fat Cheese Nips
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Nabisco Reduced-Fat Cheese Nips

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Nabisco took great effort to produce reduced-fat versions of the most popular products created by the food giant. This product loyalty-retaining move is just good business. According to one Nabisco spokesperson, "We want to bring back the people who have enjoyed our products, but went away for health and diet reasons." And that's exactly what we see happening, as customers are now grabbing the boxes with "Less Fat" printed on them. This box says, "Reduced fat: 40% less fat than original Cheese Nips."

The secret ingredient for this clone of the popular little square crackers is the fat-free cheese sprinkles by Molly McButter. One 2-ounce shaker of the stuff will do it, and you won't use it all. Just keep in mind that cheese powder is pretty salty, so you may want to go very easy on salting the tops of the crackers

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–31 crackers
Total servings–about 10
Fat per serving–3.5g
Calories per serving–105

Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup reserved for kneading and rolling)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Molly McButter fat-free cheese sprinkles
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk (1% fat)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional for tops)
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    • Instructions

      1. Sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking soda, baking powder, and cheese sprinkles in a larger bowl.

      2. Cut in the shortening with a fork and knife with a crosswise motion until the dough is broken down into rice-size pieces. The mixture will still be very dry.

      3. Stir in the buttermilk with a fork until the dough becomes very moist and sticky.

      4. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the reserved flour over the dough and work it in until the dough can be handled without sticking, then turn it out onto a floured board, being sure to reserve 1/4 cup of the flour for later. Knead the dough well for 60 to 90 seconds, and be sure the flour is incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

      5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a light coating of cooking spray on a baking sheet.

      6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use the remaining reserved flour to dust a rolling surface. Roll about one-third of the dough to about 1/16-inch thick. Trim the edges square (a pizza slicer works great for this), then transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough. Pick up one end of the dough onto the rolling pin, and roll the dough around it. Reverse the process onto the baking sheet to transfer the dough.

      7. Use a pizza slicer to cut across and down the dough, creating 1-inch square pieces. use the blunt end of a skewer or a cut toothpick to poke a hole in the center of each piece.

      8. Sprinkle a very light coating of salt over the top of the crackers (this is optional—the crackers will already be quite salty) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix the crackers around like Scrabble tiles (so the ones near the edge don't burn) and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until some are just barely turning a light brown. Repeat the rolling and baking process with the remaining dough.

      Makes approximately 300 crackers.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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