This was sorta kinda touched upon briefly in 2006 with this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/339798 but it wasn't very satisfying.
For me, Crunchy Cheetos have always been one of those weird snacks that I adore but cannot really recognize as "actual food" because I have no idea how they are made. I know from reading the package that they are made of corn meal and vegetable oil, with powdered cheese and sour cream as the main flavorings. From Wikipedia, I now know that they are a "heated dough that is extruded and then fried or baked". So, is it like a strange cousin of pate au choux? Is it really a dough made of nothing but corn meal, vegetable oil and salt, piped into hot oil? Could it really be so simple? I will experiment with any suggestions posted and then relay the results.