Happy Birthday Animal Crackers! What better way to celebrate than to create a yummy gluten-free version that anyone can make at home?
Animal crackers were introduced by the National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) in 1902, apparently on April 18th. Later that year the now familiar “Barnum’s Animals” boxes with strings were released in time to be hung on Christmas trees as children’s gifts. On the 100th anniversary of the “birth” of animal crackers, NABISCO added the koala bear to its die-cut lineup.
With this homemade recipe, you can pick whatever animal cookie cutters you prefer, or grab a set of detailed cutters made just for this purpose! Have fun rolling, cutting and eating a tasty lion or giraffe again! And maybe make a few extra to share – everybody loves an animal cracker!
(P.S. – thanks to Rebecca M. who shared that she has been using cutters like these to make graham cracker animal crackers with my Jules Gluten Free Graham Cracker Mix – another easy, great snack idea!)
Cream the shortening, sugar and nectar or honey well. Add lemon juice and egg and stir to mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add to the sugar mixture. Beat just until fully integrated. The dough should hold together in a ball and not be dry or crumbly.
Refrigerate dough for 2 hours or overnight, to make it less sticky.
Preheat oven to 325° F convection (preferred) or 350° F static.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by sprinkling more Jules flour on the surface. Dip cutters into more Jules flour to coat well.
Animal Cracker Cutters photographed on THINKGLASS™
Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness – try not to over-work or warm the dough while rolling. Use cutters to form animal shapes, depressing plungers of cutters with detail, if using. If any dough sticks in the plungers, use a toothpick between cookies to remove dough, then dip the cutters in Jules flour again.
Bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, removing when the edges begin to lightly brown.
Makes 60-70 animal crackers.