Animal Cracker Cookies

I remember eating animal crackers as a kid…I loved holding that adorable red box that looked like a circus car. I would take each cracker out and match it up with the picture of the animals on the box. They kept me occupied for many car trips.

I’ve always wanted to make my own version of animal crackers. Here’s a point of debate: Are they a cracker or are they a cookie? They are sweet like a cookie, but not too sweet. They are crispy like a cracker. How would you categorize them? This recipe produces cookies with a good crispy texture, but are a tad more buttery than the original. All in all, it’s a pretty good facsimile of an animal cracker.

from Williams Sonoma

Animal Cracker Cookies

Animal Cracker Cookies


2 ½ c all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and mace. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, and slowly add the sugar. Beat until fluffy, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  5. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more.) Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.
  6. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
  7. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dip cookie cutters into flour just before using and cut out shapes. Place cookie cutouts on prepared baking sheets. Gather up the scraps, re-roll and cut out more cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 12 to 16 minutes, depending on their size. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature.


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Sweet Comments:

  1. Just STOP with those precious pictures.

  2. ohmygosh they are adorable!!!! Especially the little bunny! Love this recipe! =)

  3. Lovely post! Want to try this out, but my mixer stopped working and I can’t have it fixed yet. Can this work, mixed manually? Thanks for sharing.

  4. MyFudo,

    The recipe will most likely work with a hand mixer. It may take a while for the flour to incorporate into the dough.

  5. Wow, that’s so much easier than I exected it would be! Those animals are so cute!

  6. Oh these crackers are just so adorable! I love your cookie cutters, too.

  7. These are so cute! My 6 year old would love these! We are supposed to get tons of snow tonight, this might be a great activity for us if school gets cancelled tomorrow!

  8. I LOVE animal crackers but I never thought of making them at home. I can’t wait to try these!

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