Rooster's Famous Fire Crackers

Recipe by evelynathens
READY IN: 10mins


  • 1
    sleeve keebler's zesta fat-free saltine
  • 1
    teaspoon seasoning, of choice (pueblo rub is suggested in original)
  • hot pepper flakes
  • 10
    ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated fine (Cracker Barrel is suggested in original)


  • Arrange a rack in the center and preheat oven to 475ºF. Spray a 10x15-inch jelly-roll pan (not shiny) with nonstick cooking spray, and arrange crackers (about 40) in rows so that crackers are touching each other. One sleeve fits almost perfectly in this size pan.
  • Sprinkle seasoning over crackers, then sprinkle with as many pepper flakes as you dare. About 5 flakes to a cracker is good. Finally, top evenly with grated cheese.
  • Bake for 1 minute only. Turn the oven off. Leave in the oven overnight.The hot oven melts and browns the cheese, producing an even coating of crisp brown cheese. The fat from the cheese soaks inot the crackers and puffs them slightly. Leaving them in the oven dries them out well so that they are super crunchy. Break apart and eat or store. They keep well for several weeks sealed in an airtight tin.
  • Note: From The Oregonian: The basic method, which we cribbed from an old recipe called Rooster's Famous Fire Crackers, calls for placing a layer of saltines on a baking sheet, sprinkling it with shredded cheese and spices, and baking briefly in a super-hot oven. The cheese melts, then crisps up as it cools. The spices -- any blend of you can dream up -- give it zing, and the results are addictive. After falling in love with Fire Crackers, we couldn't stop there. We tried different cheeses -- some mellow, some sharp -- and different spices, from barbecue rubs to lemon-dill. After lots of testing, we found a handful of great combinations, such as Smoky Cheddar and Barbecue, and Lemony Parmesan and Red Pepper. Don't wait for a party to try them.
  • Note: Here are a few tips to remember as you make these snacks at home:
  • • Use any type of saltine cracker you like.
  • • Finely shred the cheese using the small holes on the grater, so it melts into a uniform layer.
  • • Don't be afraid to improvise; any kind of cheese/herb combo is fair game, though we especially like spice blends combining some heat and a bit of sweetness.
  • Fire Cracker variations:
  • Make these versions using the accompanying basic recipe for Rooster's Famous Fire Crackers, or use them to inspire your own creations.
  • Smoky cheddar crackers:
  • 6 ounces of smoked cheddar (shredded on the finest holes of a grater).
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning blend (such as KC Masterpiece BBQ Seasoning).
  • Spicy jack crackers:
  • 6 ounces pepper jack (shredded on the finest holes of a grater).
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning (McCormick).
  • Gouda and seed crackers:
  • 6 ounces gouda (shredded on the finest holes of a grater).
  • 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated garlic flakes.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes.
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds).
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Lemon-parmesan crackers:
  • 5 ounces shredded parmesan cheese (shredded on the finest holes of a grater).
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons.