Family Friendly Fridays: Homemade Animal Crackers

If you have small children then you are probably more than intimate with the almighty animal cracker.  My pantry is never without a bag of these little beauties.  They’re perfect for pacifying a cranky hungry toddler, they travel well, and they have the same soothing effect as a cookie, only there’s the added benefit of them not being quite as big as the real thing which ultimately allows for multiple handouts.  (Aka… more handouts = greater spacing between crackers = happy child for longer period of time = happy adult for longer period of time).  Heck, I’ve even been known to indulge in a handful or two of these sweet little treats when little eyes aren’t following my every move.


Some time ago, I was surfing around on ebay and ran into a cute little set of animal cookie cutters for a steal of a price.  I thought to myself, “Now Julie, these would be perfect for making your own animal crackers.  I mean really, why buy the preprocessed stuff when you can just as easily whip up a batch of your own?” And here we are today, homemade animal crackers in hand.  And I have to say, they’re really good.  I had to ration them out to my kids because they were practically clawing at each other to get to the bowl.  I kept telling them they couldn’t eat any until I took pictures for the blog (I know, I know, terrible mom.  But you can’t tell me it wasn’t worth the effort.) and they kept sneaking them when I wasn’t looking.  Once I gave them the green light to dig in, it was like a tornado hit.  Five minutes later all I had left was a bowl and some crumbs.  Good thing I snuck a few away for myself when no one was looking.  Even adults need an animal cracker  every now and then.

This recipe was a two day process. The dough gets whipped up on day one and the cookies get baked on day two.    To whip up a batch of dough, you’ll cream together a little butter and sugar and then add in an egg and some vanilla.

Next up you’ll add in a little flour, some oats, and baking powder along with a couple spices for good measure.

I actually made two different flavors of cracker.  One as is and the other, chocolate.  If you decide to chocolate up your animal crackers, you’ll simply substitute cocoa powder for a small amount of the flour and continue on as written.  Take a peak at my two dough balls ready to be fridged.

Chill them for at least an hour and as long as overnight.  When you’re ready to work on the crackers again, bring them out and give the dough five or so minutes to warm up.  Pull off a piece and warm it up a bit in your hands, rolling it into a ball.   Flatten the ball with your hand to get it started and then roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1/4″ thick.

Now cut out those stinkin’ cute animals.

This is about the point where Alex came into the picture and started helping me cut out the cookies.  I swear this kid’s going to be a chef when he grows up.

Once you’ve cut out about a thousand little cookies and filled up your cookie sheet, you’ll throw them in the oven (use parchment on your cookie sheet for easier release) and let them cook up.

Tell me those aren’t adorable.  Should I eat a cat first or a cow?

Rinse and repeat until you’ve made it through all your dough.

And if your natives are as restless for crackers as mine are, at this point you’ll drop a bowlful on the table and step back quickly to avoid the fray.  Just make sure to save yourself a stash for later.  You’ll definitely be glad you did.

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Homemade Animal Crackers

Total Time: 2 Hours

Ingredients:

1 Stick Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/8 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Oats
11/2 Cups Flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Optional)

Directions:

Cream together the butter and brown sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla and combine well.

Mix in the cinnamon, allspice, and salt.

Finally, add in the baking powder, oats, flour, and optional cocoa powder. Cocoa powder should be subbed for flour. Simply add the powder to your measuring cup and then fill the rest of the way up with flour.

Mix it up good and form into a ball. Store in the fridge for a minimum of one hour and up to overnight.

When ready, pull dough from fridge, grab off a hunk and roll it out to 1/4" thick.

Cut out crackers and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

Bake for 5-7 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Homemade Animal Crackers on Foodista



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56 Responses to “Family Friendly Fridays: Homemade Animal Crackers”

  1. 1

    Nuts about food — March 4, 2011 @ 6:02 am

    These are adorable! And what a coincidence, Smitten Kitten just posted the recipe to make wholewheat goldfish. You are awesome moms, making these things at home for your kids! I would definitely eat them too.

  2. 2

    Chaplain Donna — March 4, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    Homemade animal crackers! That is genius and healthy!

  3. 3

    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom — March 4, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    Julie you’re amazing and these are perfect. I love how you describe your natives waiting for these. My kids haven’t had animal crackers in years (besides at Grandma’s) as I won’t buy the processed ones anymore. Now, they no longer need wait as I now know how to make them from scratch! Thank you for the inspriation.. I have some Ikea cookie cutter that’ll be perfect for this recipe :)

  4. 4

    JulieD — March 4, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    These look so good, Julie! I’m sure your kids loved these!

  5. 5

    malia — March 4, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    These are fabulous Julie. Happy weekend my friend!
    Malia

  6. 6

    Shawnda — March 4, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    I love the idea of making your own animal crackers!

  7. 7

    Feast on the Cheap — March 4, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    I mean…is there anything cuter?

  8. 8

    Katerina — March 4, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    I know at least one person in my family who would love these cookies. I can’t agree more with you. Couple of cookies make children happy and quiet and if they are happy and quiet so are you! Thanks for hosting Julie!

  9. 9

    Mari's Cakes — March 4, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    What a great family recipe. I love the dough mix. Have a great weekend.

  10. 10

    Jenna — March 4, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    They are so stinkin’ cute! I wouldn’t mind a bowl of them myself. =)

  11. 11

    Beth (OMG! Yummy) — March 4, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    Although my kids are technically too old for these, I think they’d love them as a snack in their lunch. And I love any dough recipe that you can make ahead and refrigerate and finish the process later. Also I agree, animal crackers and goldfish are just exactly what I need sometimes!

    Fun recipe!

  12. 12

    Winnie — March 4, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Oh my gosh- so adorable! ps congrats on the Babble shout-out :)

  13. 13

    Lin Ann — March 4, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    Oh my goodness, they are adorable! And sound so healthy.

  14. 14

    Apicius' Apprentice — March 4, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Such a cute idea! I love this!! I think my nephews and niece would get a kick out of these :p Which did you prefer? Chocolate or the regulars?

  15. 15

    Kathy Gillen @ Wellness Roadtrip — March 4, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    Those are too darn cute! My children are older…a couple of teens and preteens but even they would love them. Just found your site…very fun stuff. My blog today is about Joyful Eating…so no recipe but just a reflection on why we should eat with joy. Be well and thanks for sharing.

  16. 16

    anne — March 4, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    oh, these look so good and cute!! anne

  17. 17

    Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds — March 4, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    The grown ups definitely need to take a tariff on stuff like this!

  18. 18

    Beth — March 4, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    Those are definitely adorable! I used to love animal crackers when my kids were small. Maybe I should take them up again!

  19. 19

    Biren @ Roti n Rice — March 4, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

    These look adorable! I would like a handful myself :)

  20. 20

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — March 4, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

    So cute! And I have to let you know – one of my coworkers (who reads my blog) mentioned that she had stumbled across yours via comments … and she was raving about your great recipes. :) Two thumbs up!

  21. 21

    Prerna@IndianSimmer — March 4, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    Another gr8 recipe by u my friend! I guess just like any our kid this is my li’l one’s FAVORITE! I’m gonna try this recipe for sure!

  22. 22

    rebecca — March 4, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    very cool to make from scratch wish J liked them have a good weekend

  23. 23

    Rach — March 4, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

    Aww so cute! And I love that they are homemade!

  24. 24

    CK — March 5, 2011 @ 12:16 am

    Awww! These are darling! Another recipe we’ll have to try!

  25. 25

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — March 5, 2011 @ 5:48 am

    These are so cute, I haven’t had animal crackers in such a long time! I craving some now :-)

  26. 26

    Kristen — March 5, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    As I watch my kids reach into the animal cracker bin for the 100th time, this recipe is looking better and better to me. I love the idea of making them homemade instead of buying them in bulk at Costco. Thanks for the recipe.

  27. 27

    The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time — March 5, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

    How absolutely adorable. We still eat a ton of animal crackers and I’d much rather eat home made ones. Thanks for sharing this.

  28. 28

    moowiesqrd — March 5, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Wow! Homemade animal crackers… gorgeous! Not being a parent, I’d have to say that my view on them is a little more direct. Animal crackers = happy me. ;) There’s just something about the dry crunch and sweetness that’s so awesome.

  29. 29

    A little bit of everything — March 5, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    i have some animal cookie cutter, have to look for the mine version and make these ones. they are adorable. thanks for sharing Julie

  30. 30

    grace — March 6, 2011 @ 1:19 am

    i hope i’m not the only one who eats the heads first… :)
    nice work, julie!

  31. 31

    Anna Johnston — March 6, 2011 @ 2:09 am

    Pretty cute Julie…, pretty dam cute :)

  32. 32

    Stephanie — March 6, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    Yum, these look great! What a fantastic idea. I love homemade versions of processed snacks and these are just too cute.

  33. 33

    5 Star Foodie — March 6, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

    Very cool, homemade animal crackers are a wonderful idea, yum!

  34. 34

    Monet — March 7, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    I adored Animal Crackers growing up (and I still love them with chocolate pudding). I’ve got to get my hands on some of those little cutters so I can make my own. Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a happy week. Your posts bring me joy…thank you for being you!

  35. 35

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — March 7, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    These are so cute! I want to make them for my husband, is that strange? :) I just bought some mini cookie cutters too, so I think I’ll try them!

  36. 36

    Kristen — March 7, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    What a great idea – these are fantastic!

  37. 37

    Maggie @ Loaded Kitchen — March 7, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    You’re such a cool mom, Julie! I love animal crackers :)

    I used to feel so awesome carrying around my little animal cracker “purse.” I’m gonna make a bunch of these, put them in my purse, and feel even awesomer.

  38. 38

    Katie @ This Chick Cooks — March 8, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    What a great recipe! I’m loving your site. Thanks for sharing.
    Katie

  39. 39

    The Mommy Blawger — March 8, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    The dough was so delicious, it’s a wonder any was left to make cookies with! Tasty and not too sweet.

  40. 40

    Maranda — March 9, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    Too cute! I’ve definitely started thinking that why should I buy things that I could just as easily make at home. What a great idea to make these animal crackers at home!

  41. 41

    crustabakes — March 11, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

    I wished i had such cute cookie cutters to make these. THese are most adorable!

  42. 42

    Medeja — March 14, 2011 @ 6:56 am

    Cute crackers.. I just would like to see those animals with eyes :)))

  43. 43

    Nabeel's Cosmos — March 14, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    awww, the end result is awesome. What does one do if they don’t have that shape cutter? Any around the house MacGuyer way of making whatever shapes?

  44. 44

    Homemade Animal Crackers - MIX 94.9 TRUE VARIETY — January 26, 2012 @ 11:47 am

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    Make Homemade Animal Crackers - 98 COUNTRY — January 27, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    [...] Plus, right or wrong, baking cookies shows love. So, when I found a homemade animal cracker recipe I knew I had to try it. This recipe is a little futsy because the ingredients are given in weights but it’s the one I used and it’s awesome. There’s also this option. [...]

  46. 46

    Courtney — April 10, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    These are so cute, and absolutely delicious! I made a batch for my family and they were gone within a few days. Making 2 huge batches for my daughters first birthday! Cant wait to share these tonight on http://www.domesticobsession.blogspot.com !!

  47. 47

    MrsOgg — July 15, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I just made my first batch of animal crackers tonight sans the animal shape and they were a hit with everybody! I had been dreaming of the Williams-Sonoma cookie presses but, they are pretty pricey now that they are discontinued. I keep looking at mini animal cutters on Etsy but, I think your cute cookie pics have finally sealed the deal! My family will thank you :-)

  48. 48

    Kathy — August 26, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    Are you sure the ingredients amount are correct on this recipe? I made this three times now, as I kept thinking I made mistake, but no…. each time I did it I ended up having to add double that amount of flour plus more! It was pasty and more like a cookie dough batter. It ended up perfect each time, of course, after adding the extra flour, but would not have worked without it. Amy suggestions on what could be going wrong here for me…? I would like to keep making these for my dogs.

  49. 49

    Animal Crackers | Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen — April 29, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

    [...] Adapted from Mommie Cooks [...]

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