Attaining the dry, cracker like texture of commercially produced animal crackers is tough to achieve in a standard home oven. While slightly softer than the original, these biscuits are nonetheless nostalgically delicious.
Recipe from The Secret Lives of Baked Goods (Sasquatch Books, 2013) by Jesse Oleson Moore. Photography by Clare Barboza ©.
- 2½ cups all-purpose ﬂour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened to cool room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and all-purpose ﬂour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, stirring until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing a after each addition just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Form the dough into 2 disks and wrap well with plastic; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Chilling the dough will ensure that the shapes hold once cut out and that the dough will not spread too much during baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Allow the cookie dough to warm slightly at room temperature before rolling it. On a floured work surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough to about ¼-inch thick. Use small animal-shaped cutters to cut the dough (of course, other small cutters will work, too). Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Gather up the dough scraps and re-roll to make more cookies. Leave a small amount of room around each cookie to allow for spreading. If desired, you can use toothpicks to enhance the details on the animals, or add faces.
- Let the cookies chill (on the baking sheets) in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking. This will ensure even further that the dough retains any details you've added.