September 24, 2016

Animal Cracker Cookies 動物餅乾

Animal Cracker Cookies 動物餅乾

Animal Crackers, animal cookies, recipe, animal cookie cutter,  school lunch, school snack, 動物, 餅乾
By Published: 2016-09-24
It's that time of the year when the kids are back to school...which means it's also time for packed school lunches and snacks!  And I have been that busy in my teensy tiny kitchen making all kinds of things for school lunch.  One of my favorite things to make and pack into lunch packs are these cookies.  There's nothing to delight children more than yummilicious cookies in the shape of cute adorable animals!  

So you are forewarned...it's gonna be cuteness here today!  This is our take of that favorite little cookie, classically known as Animal Crackers (tho' why it's called crackers and not cookies I have no idea), inspired by those classic Barnum's Animal Crackers, the longstanding kiddie favorites that come in a colorfully decorated box.  Do you remember eating these as a kid?  I sure do.

Barnum's Animal Crackers
Animal Crackers, animal cookies, recipe, animal cookie cutter,  school lunch, school snack, 動物, 餅乾

One key thing to take care of before you make these cookies, of course, is to make sure that you have the right cookie cutters to make the animal crackers.  You will need to look for animal cookie cutters that come with the extra detailing that will allow you to press and, ta-da!, have a animal shaped cookie with eyes, face, eats, whiskers, wings or whatever it is that they most need to be a true animal cracker cookie.  I got lucky one day mucking about the little kitchen store near my house and discovered in the very bottom rack a dusty old package with these little beauties of animal cutters still wrapped neatly inside.  Yeah!  Time for baking...

Animal Crackers, animal cookies, recipe, animal cookie cutter,  school lunch, school snack, 動物, 餅乾

These cookie cutters are so cool, I think I actually squealed the first time I used these.  (Bad form, I know.)  But after the time consuming work of baking and decorating sugar cookies with royal icing (though totally worth the effort), it was an absolute blast to just press, lift, bake and...ta-da! Amazing animal cookies/crackers that look so adorable and ready to wow my little girl and all her little friends.

Animal Crackers, animal cookies, recipe, animal cookie cutter,  school lunch, school snack, 動物, 餅乾

And then, just to jazz it up, I dug out some of the many decorative candy sprinkles that we have left over from other bakes and did a simple decoration to the cut out cookies before they went to into the oven.  Some flowers tucked behind the ears and also some cutie marks at the flanks!  (A tribute to the cutie marks of the ponies in My Little Pony, The Magic of Friendship, of which my daughter and I are loyal fans.)

     

Dig out your own animal cutters or get some animal cracker cookie cutters and get baking!  Get crazy creative with the decorative sprinkles!  Kids will love helping out with the decoration.  These animal cookies are so easy to make and really super duper charming for the amount of effort put in.  Make these and see if the little friends in your life don't look at you with adoring eyes.  And don't forget to pack in extras so that friends can have some!

Animal Crackers, animal cookies, recipe, animal cookie cutter,  school lunch, school snack, 動物, 餅乾


Animal Cracker Cookies Recipe  動物餅乾
(adapted from Brave Tart's recipe here)
(makes around 25 nos 1 1/2" by 2" cookies)  


Ingredients

1 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour (227g)
6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature (85g)
1/2 cup sugar (113g)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract together until thoroughly combined.   Add in half the flour, mix to incorporate, then add in half the egg white and mix to incorporate.  Repeat.  When the mixture is just thoroughly combined wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).  Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.  Flour your working space (or your handy silicone pastry rolling mat) and roll the dough out to 1/4" thickness.  Use your animal cracker cookie cutters to cut out the cookie shapes.  Place on to baking tray with 1/2" between each cookie.  Decorate with your decorative sprinkles (be creative!) by placing down and pressing very lightly into the dough.

Bake 12 mins, or until just barely light brown on the edges.  Cool completely.  These cookies are the the hard cookie type and can be stored in air tight container for 3-4 weeks.  Enjoy!

     


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