Monday, January 24, 2011

Animal Crackers

It's amazing how priorities change once a baby joins the family.

For example, I used to spend my precious shopping time checking out clothing in my size. Now, I dash right by the women's section onward to the baby girl section.

It's the same with recipes. 
I used to bookmark complicated recipes with exotic ingredients.

Now, my recipe selection centers around things that can be made during nap time with what I have in my cupboard and what can easily be chewed with 6 teeth.

Of course, if the recipe is relatively healthy and can be cut into cute little animal shapes, like these crackers, that's just a bonus!

I use the word 'cracker' very loosely as these are more cookie-like. I rolled them out thinly so they'd be crunchy like a cracker but that's about the only similarity.

If you're a big animal cracker eater, don't get too excited about this recipe.

I'm not much of an animal cracker connoisseur so I can't say how close these are to the real deal but
I have a suspicion they're not close at all.

I don't mind though, they're still cute and fun for snack time. I still would rather my baby eat these than boughten animal crackers with their mystery ingredients. 

She, on the other hand, seems content eating dirt out of my planter when I'm not looking. Oh well.

Animal Crackers
Makes: about 80 mini crackers
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Note: I used 1/2 cup spelt flour and 1/2 cup white pastry flour and it worked wonderfully. Walnut or almond meal can easily be made in your food proccessor. Pulse the nuts until they're the texture of sand. Don't go overboard though or you'll end up with almond butter. 

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (see note)
¼ cup walnut or almond meal (see note)
½ cup oatmeal
2 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup fine-grain natural cane sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp salt 

1. Use a food processor or blender to grind oats very finely. (Finer than I did). In a small bowl whisk together the flour, ground oats, almond or walnut meal and set aside.
2. In a separate medium bowl, beat the coconut oil and butter with the sugar and salt until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended.
3. Add the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Turn the dough onto the counter-top and knead once or twice and gather into a ball. Cut the dough in half, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. 
5. On a floured work surface roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out animal shapes. Place the cookies about an inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake 7-8 minutes or until cookies just begin to color.

Updated 07/02/11: I tried using kamut flakes in place of the oatmeal and it didn't work! The dough was very dry and crumbly and wouldn't cut into shapes. I may try it again but I will soak the kamut flakes overnight to make them softer.


  1. These look so fun! FAith and I are going to make them today. Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. I hope they work out for you! Maelle likes them. I should've mentioned that I reduced the sugar a bit so they weren't too sweet, I don't know if big kids (like Faith) will still like them.


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