These DIY Cheddar Fish Crackers Are Your Kid's New Obsession

I don't know about you, but the only farm my son has ever wanted to live on is Pepperidge Farm — thanks to his steady diet of goldfish crackers. Crunchy, cheesy, and charming, the bite-size fish are practically a kid food group. And now, with the publication of America's Test Kitchen (ATK) Kids latest cookbook, The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs, you and your little one can make your own version of the classic childhood snack. The new book is filled with easy-to-make recipes for kids, including Cheddar Fish Crackers, the ultimate home snack hack.

Getting children interested in cooking isn't always easy, and some recipes seem particularly overwhelming when you factor inexperienced hands into the mix. To avoid that, ATK had 7,000 kids test the recipes in this new book, so you know they're all amateur-friendly and fun.

As one might guess from the Cheddar Fish Crackers recipe, the book is filled with stuff kids actually like to eat, like DIY ketchup, sprinkles, macaroni and cheese, and waffle mix. Plus, the instructions are super straightforward and include not just a list of ingredients but necessary tools as well. For example; when it comes to the Cheddar Fish Crackers, the book explains that any cookie cutter you have at home will do (but, if you want that classic tiny fish look, you can buy the handy cookie cutter on Amazon pictured below).

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Then you can make this Cheddar Fish Crackers recipe as a family at home. And you'll never have to worry about running low on goldfish crackers again for as long as your kids are kids. This recipe makes up to 125 little fishies for your persnickety eater to enjoy and takes just about one hour, start to finish.

Cheddar Fish Crackers


  • 3⁄4 cup (3 ounces) shredded extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese (white cheddar works, too, as does not-so-sharp cheddar)
  • 1⁄2 cup (21⁄2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for counter
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon cold water


Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix cheddar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor until the mixture is smooth, or about 30 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons of chilled unsalted butter to the food processor, lock the lid back into place, and process until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand, or about 20 seconds.

Add 1 tablespoon of cold water to the processor and lock lid back into place. Hold down pulse button for 1 second, then release. Repeat until dough forms large clumps, for about five 1-second pulses.

Remove lid (and carefully remove processor blade; this is a grown-up only job). Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead gently for about 20 seconds, then then use rolling pin to roll dough into rough 10-inch circle. Use rolling pin to roll dough into rough 10- inch circle, about 1⁄8 inch thick, rotating dough a quarter turn and re-flouring counter between rolls as needed.

Use fish cracker cutter to cut out the fish before placing on parchment paper-lined baking sheet (fish can be close together, but not touching).

Sprinkle the counter with a little more flour, then gather dough scraps together and repeat rolling and cutting dough until only tiny scraps remain (discard scraps).

Place baking sheet in refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Once the fish are chilled, place baking sheet in oven and bake until crackers are puffed and golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Make sure kids know they have to wait until the crackers are cool before diving in (about 15 minutes). Serve.

Maybe next time you'll be ready to move on to Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce and No-Churn Ice Cream (yup, those recipes are in there).