Animal Crackers/Cookies

I had the privilege of guest posting on Tiff’s blog (she shared an AWESOME recipe here!) on Friday, and since her blog is not open to the public, I wanted to re-post my recipe.

We’re going to make homemade animal crackers! These are fun, easy, quite tasty, and if you have children, kid-friendly! What more can you ask for in a recipe? (If you’re my aunt, and you’re reading, I know you’re thinking chocolate or ice cream!)

*There is a required refrigeration time, so keep that in mind if you want to make these. Also, the directions seem super long, but they go quite fast. Don’t let them scare you!*

You’ll need the following ingredients for the animal crackers:

(recipe from Williams-Sonoma)

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (If you don’t have fresh, that’s okay!)

1/8 tsp. mace

12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 c. sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

mini-animal shaped cutters – I found mine at Michael’s for around $4.00. They are from Wilton and are Noah’s Ark themed. If you can’t find them in a store, any other cutter set will do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and mace. Set aside. (Ryan offered to sift, and little did he know how long it takes to do so! I’m pretty sure that was the one and only time he’ll offer to shift anything!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer (can use hand mixer as well if need be) fit with the flat beater, beat the butter on high-speed for 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low-speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and beat until all the flour has been absorbed and dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Place each dough disk between 2 clean, large pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more). Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper (I used non-stick cookie sheets without parchment paper, and they worked great). Dip cookie cutters in flour just before using and cut out the shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut out as many as you can, then peel away the unused dough. Place cookies on baking sheets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeze for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Gather up the scraps, reroll, and cut out more cookies. (I found out that I’m too much of a cookie cutter perfectionist for Ryan. He basically told me I was working too slow and tedious, took the cutters, and got the job done in minutes. So much for bonding while baking! As you can see, Ryan had all of his cut out and was starting to put the dough on the cookie sheets. Me? Well, I had about two rows cut out and that’s it!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 14-16 minutes (I recommend checking them around 12 minutes as all ovens are different and you don’t want all the cookies to be too dark.) transfer the sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep in mind that these won’t taste exactly like the animal crackers you find in stores. Personally, I like the homemade version better, and I hope you do too! Enjoy!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. crizzle
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 23:39:23

    Gotta be honest – This recipe intimidates me!! You are so talented that it was no big deal to you! 🙂
    I want to try one!

    Reply

  2. Ole
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 18:17:01

    I see you do not have the infamous “scrape ‘n stir” for Dottie. I bet that is on her Christmas list!

    Reply

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