Happy New Year! I had the best of intentions to keep posting regularly through the holidays, but it all ended up a bit hit and miss there for a while. However, I did have lots of time over the holidays to have fun with my family, and that’s what really matters, right? Geoff has had almost a whole month off of school for the holidays, and it has been wonderful! Abby, my seven year old, had two weeks off, and is heading back to school today. It will be nice to get back into our normal routine and stop with all the holiday crazies, but I’ll miss her too. It’s always a little bittersweet when they go back to school, right? Anyway, with her back at school today, I’ve been thinking about snacks for her lunchbox, and decided to give these homemade animal crackers a try.
They’re not exactly the same as the animal crackers you buy at the store, but I think they are definitely more delicious! The texture is sort of halfway between a shortbread cookie and a cracker, and they are buttery and lightly sweetened. My kids could not get enough of these and kept asking for more. I think that next time I make them, I will sub in a little whole wheat pastry flour to make them a little more healthy, but I do really like that by making them myself I know exactly what’s in them. It’s so fun to make things from scratch instead of always relying on pre-packaged foods! That’s something I am definitely hoping to continue in the new year. I hope you’ll try these and see just how great they are!
Homemade Animal Crackers
12 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with parchment or silicone. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, and mix to form a soft dough. Roll the dough out on a moderately floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Use small cookie cutters to cut out shapes. (I found this set at Michaels, but this set is also cute!) Transfer cut outs to prepared baking sheet and place the sheet in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 350. When the oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Bake 8-10 minutes for small shapes and 12-13 minutes for larger shapes.
adapted from Heather’s French Press