Homemade Animal Crackers

Sometimes I finish store-bought food just to recreate it.

Over the course of a month, I made it my personal goal to finish the giant plastic jar of animal crackers we’d bought when I had discovered a homemade version. When the crackers were finally almost finished, my mom asked if she should buy another giant jar before I screamed “NO!” through my animal-cracker-filled mouth. I was going to make homemade animal crackers, and nothing was going to stop me.

…Except for the fact that I didn’t have small animal cookie cutters.

You see, after buying a 101 cookie cutter set, I naively assumed that I was set for life–that I would never need to buy other cookie cutters. Umm…yeah right. Within the span of a day I was already discovering new shapes and sizes I wanted. I’m kind of crazy and greedy when it comes to bakeware. It’s not fair.

So I did what any desperate semi-drop-out teenage food blogger would do. With a 25% discount coupon in hand, I excitedly bought a set of “Noah’s Arc” cookie cutters! These are my first non-plastic, metal overpriced cookie cutters.

I found 2 very different animal cracker recipes and had been debating over which of the 2 I should use. I eventually decided on this one because this recipe seems much more similar to my giant jar of animal cracker’s ingredients with its use of nutmeg and I saw people complaining about the lack of sweetness for the other recipe.

I made them the very next morning after I bought the wondrous cookie cutters. It was exciting. The results were delicious. Not quite identical to animal crackers, but they made a yummy cookie/cracker :)

You can dunk these in marshmallow fluff, Nutella, peanut butter, honey, or anything else your heart desires. I personally think that since these are sweet enough, they’re absolutely perfect with green tea or any sort of tea.

I removed these cuties from the oven a little early because I was scared they would overbake, so they actually came out crunchy on the outside and a little soft on the inside since I didn’t leave them in there long enough. I actually think I preferred them on the chewy side, but it’s up to you. If you place them in the oven for a little longer, they’ll get crunchier so don’t worry about it.

Enjoy my preciouses!

Animal Crackers (adapted from Williams Sonoma)
Makes about 90 (very small) Animal Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I added a little more when I realized the dough was a little sticky. Also, I’m considering grinding 1 cup of rolled oats in place of flour for next time)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg (I doubled this since I didn’t have the following ingredient)
  • 1/8 tsp. mace (I omitted this and added an extra 1/8 tsp. nutmeg)
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 1 stick + 1/2 cup of applesauce…next time I think I’ll use those low-fat butter spreads to make these even more healthy)
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 white sugar and about 3 tablespoons of brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and mace. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted 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.
  3. 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 of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. 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 (I refrigerated for about 45 minutes – 1 hour and didn’t even put it in plastic wrap and it was fine) or up to 2 days.
  5. Place each dough disk between 2 clean, large pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness (I think I made these a little thicker). If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more.
  6. Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.
  7. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  8. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dip cookie cutters into flour just before using and cut out the shapes. Gather up the scraps, reroll and cut out more cookies.
  9. Freeze the baking sheets for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  10. Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature.
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42 Responses to Homemade Animal Crackers

  1. Wow, those are adorable! Animal crackers will always be the most nostalgic-ever food to me, and to know that you can make them in your own home is the coolest! Thanks for sharing these, and great job!

  2. Too funny! Your animal crackers are so cute – I don’t bake much and have never seen such tiny cookie cutters. I’m sure they were better than the store bought variety :)

  3. Joyti says:

    I’m very greedy about bakeware too. I have winecrates full…and always think of things I still need!
    But your animal crackers look so cute, and delicious.

  4. Your animal crackers are ADORABLE! What a great idea to try to make homemade ones. I bet they taste so much better. Nutmeg! :)

  5. Faith says:

    I think these are the cutest little things I’ve ever seen! Yay for more cookie cutters (I’m the same way with kitchenware ;) )…I especially love the little giraffe! They sound delicious too, good call on choosing the recipe with nutmeg!

  6. Rebel mel says:

    !!!

    I need to make these. I now have a serious craving for animal crackers!

  7. Megan says:

    We LOVE animal crackers in our house. We had the big tub and it disappeared in a couple weeks. Now I will have to make these for myself, they are so adorable! A great excuse to buy some extra mini cookie cutters! :)

  8. briarrose says:

    Ehehehe….these are awesome. What a fun cookie to bake.

  9. Peggy says:

    Wow! Homemade animal crackers sound awesome! I used to love just biting the heads off these guys when I was younger… hehe =)

  10. ahhhh these are adorable! I say the overpriced metal cutters are totally worth it! =) and no preservatives and additives this way — perfection!

  11. Victoria says:

    Love love love this!! I’ve never even thought to make animal crackers, and yours are so adorable! I bet this would be so much fun to make with little kids too :) Where did you get the cutters from? Williams-Sonoma?

    • Actually I got these from Michael’s! If you go on their website you can print out a 40% coupon for next week and maybe only $2 or less for it. I got it 25% off because I used my 40% coupon for something a little more expensive :)

  12. oh wow.. these look so cute:) i just bought these crackers from the plastic jar not too long ago.. i will try to make this ones soon. the cookie cutters are just so darn cute!!

  13. cakebrain says:

    awww! they are so cute! it’s a shame (almost) to eat them! I love metal cookie cutters. For some reason, I think they work better than the plastic ones. I love the giraffe shaped one you have!

  14. Tanvi says:

    These look soo soo cute.What a fun thing to snack with tea.I can eat a whole bowl of these with dollops of nutella.I love your little cutters…they are a wonderful treasure.

  15. Katherine: Unemployed says:

    these are amazing! I am infinitely impressed

  16. How neat, homemade animal crackers – they are so adorable and must be just fantastic!

  17. Velva says:

    I can eat animal cookies by the handfuls. Costco has a big tub of them with a slight vanilla flavor, that makes me go wild. I can’t buy them, because I would eat them all!

    I am so impressed that you made homemade animal cookies. They look delightful. You are my hero!

    Velva

  18. These cookies are extremely adorable! I want to make some for my baby nieces!

  19. These animal cookies are adorable. Now that you have these cookie cutters, you have an excuse to make them very often!

  20. I love animal crackers! These look great!

  21. Simply adorable! THis used to be a real favourite of mine when I was a little girl. I remember the cute little packets they would come in :)
    *kisses* HH

  22. I’ve never thought to make my own animal crackers but these look adorable!

  23. Mary says:

    I love these! I have to order the cookie cutters for my daughters who will be able to put them to good use. The cookies sound delicious and much better than the store bought variety. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  24. I think I’m in love!!!!!

    Delicious and cute – what a combination!!

  25. Blond Duck says:

    How precious is this! You’re going to get so much use out of those cutters–baby showers, parties, etc. Plus, these look much better than the stale ones in boxes!

  26. Simply Life says:

    WOW! This is impressive! Maybe putting in the labor would slow me down from devouring them by the handful! :)

  27. They are so CUTE! And I’m sure taste so much better than the store-bought variety!

  28. Joanne says:

    Animal crackers dunked in nutella…you are a culinary genius.

    I definitely don’t have enough cookie cutters or bakeware in general in my life. Not that I have any space for any more of it…but still. I’ll find room.

  29. Oh my…how cute are these. I love animal crackers :).

  30. Maya says:

    As many cookie cutters as I have in my repertoire, I must confess that I never bought myself a set of animal cutters. Yours are so cute, they totally bring out the child in me!

  31. Lisa says:

    These are too, too cute. I love it, I absolutely do. I so want to try this recipe. I’m going to have to find me some mini cookie cutters fast! I loved having you join me last week at Sweets for a Saturday and I wholeheartedly hope that you’ll come by and link these up for Sweets for a Saturday #2 going on right now.

  32. camie says:

    How darling!!! And what patience you must have to cut out those teeny tiny cookies!!

  33. View Pacific says:

    Yum! Fun!
    I love the idea of making my own animal cookies but have had a hard time finding a cookie cutter in the shape of the Loch Ness Monster. (Elusive!)
    Looking around the web I found a great idea from a creative genius – you can make your own from soda cans! It looks easy enough, although so I can make Nessie in the right shape I’m still searching for a photo. ;-)
    Keep up the fun, creative, and tasty ideas.

  34. gadgetgirl says:

    so cute, much way cuter than the goldfish. I’ll make one of these. Thanks for the idea.

  35. Pingback: Homemade Animal Crackers (via Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen) | Tanyagirl

  36. Ok, I absolutely love your blog! All of these homemade snacks are fantastic, and great photography by the way. My mom is always buying goldfish, poptarts, and cookies for my brothers, who i swear could just swallow a box of goldfish whole. Anyways, bravo! I look forward to more of your stuff.

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  38. Stacy S says:

    Made these today with my son-so yummy! I wonder if I could make different flavors by replacing the applesauce with a different fruit/veggie purée….hmmm….have you tried any different flavors?

  39. Pingback: Sequoit Media : Everything To Know About Animal Crackers

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