Homemade Cheetos

READY IN: 40mins
YIELD: 12 cups




  • ​A Seattle Food Geek Recipe for Making Your Own Beecher's Flagship Cheetos.
  • Working time: 40 minutes.
  • Total kitchen time: 40 minutes.
  • Special equipment: coffee grinder, food processor, cookie press with 1/2 circular die, pastry bag with 1/2 round tip, or cookie gun.
  • For the powdered cheese:
  • 1. Preheat your oven to 170°F, or its lowest setting above that.
  • 2. Grind the tapioca pearls in a coffee grinder for 1 minute, or until they turn to a very fine powder. Set aside.
  • 3. In a small saucepan, combine the water and grated cheese over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • 4. When the cheese is fully melted into a clump-free, runny sauce, transfer it to the bowl of your food processor. Add the powdered tapioca and blend on high until it forms thick granules, about 30 seconds. If your mixture doesn't form granules, but forms a dough instead, add 1 teaspoons additional tapioca and continue mixing.
  • 5. Transfer the mixture to a nonstick or lined baking sheet and spread in a thin, even layer. Bake at 170°F for 45 minutes, or until the mixture is dry to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cheese powder to cool 10 minutes.
  • 6. Add the cheese powder to the coffee grinder. Add 1/2 teaspoons salt and grind 1 minute, or until it turns to a very fine powder.
  • For the Cheetos:
  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, milk, egg whites, and 1 teaspoons salt. Mix until combined and lump-free.
  • 2. Add the cornmeal mixture to your cookie gun, and ensure that you can extrude it through the die. If the mixture is too dry, return it to the bowl and add 1 tablespoons milk. If the mixture is too wet to hold its shape, return it to the bowl and add 1 tablespoons of corn meal.
  • 3. Add canola oil to a medium saucepan until it is about 2 deep. Heat to 350°F.
  • 4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Spread the remaining powdered cheese on a second baking sheet.
  • 5. Carefully squirt 4-6 pumps of the cornmeal mixture directly into the oil. Fry for 15 seconds, then flip and fry for an additional 15 seconds or until golden brown. Drain briefly on the paper towels, then toss immediately in the tray of cheese powder, rolling to coat. Transfer to a plate to cool. Repeat for remaining dough, ensuring that the oil temperature holds steady at 350°F.