Friday, September 19, 2014

Animal Cracker Cookies

I remember loving animal crackers when I was a kid, and the box with the string was an added bonus. I could carry it around like a little purse.

Maybe it was my fascination with animal crackers that fueled my adult love for cookie cutters, and my giddy joy at finding these adorable animal-shaped cutters.

These critters aren't exactly the same as the ones sold as animal crackers, but I think they might even be better looking. And they were perfect for a challenge featuring flours from Bob's Red Mill.

The recipe here is perfect for cookie cutter creations, since the cookies don't rise or spread much at all, so you don't lose the shape or the embossed design.

Shortbread Cookies with a Little Whole Wheat
by Donna
Makes 2-3 dozen very small cookies

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic-Whole Wheat Flour

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar and salt. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until combined.

Add the flours and mix until combined. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten to a disk, and refrigerate until chilled – or for several days, if desired.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, lightly flour your work surface, and have baking sheets standing by.

Working with portions of the dough at a time, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch and cut with cookie cutters as desired. Right out of the refrigerator, this dough tends to be a little brittle and tends to crack apart, but as it warms slightly, it's easier to roll. If it does break apart, you can just gather up the pieces and mash them together.

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet. Parchment paper is fine, but you don't need a greased cookie sheet.

You can re-roll the dough scraps and cut more cookies, but if the dough gets too soft, it can be hard to work with as it sticks to your work surface and flops about when you try to pick up a cookie. If that's the case, just refrigerate it for 10 minutes or so, to let it firm up, then continue rolling and cutting.

Bake the cookies at 350°F until lightly browned on the edges, about 14 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for a while before you transfer them to racks to cool completely. They're a little fragile when warm, but they'll firm up as they cool. These are still slightly delicate when completely cool, so don't plan on putting them in a box and shipping them across the country.

Warning: Don't store your predator cookies with the prey cookies.


  1. Rrrawr ... Hasta la vista, giraffes!

  2. I think I added too much flour. When the dough is put into the plastic wrap for resting, should it be slightly crumbly? :/

    1. This is like shortbread dough, so it is just a little crumble, but it shouldn't be like sand. You can add a tablespoon of water and give it a little knead to incorporate it. When it's chilled, it does want to break apart a little when you first roll, it but then when it hits the right temp, it holds together really well.