Animal crackers are a true classic. For me, it was always the ones in the little box with the circus animals on it. The one with the string for a handle. You know the one, right? I was a big fan. Both because I thought they were delicious and because I got my OWN box. There’s just something awesome about that, especially when you’re a little kid. Plus, there was always some National Geographic-esque battle/nature show happening before I ate them…but not in a weird Ben Affleck way. (If you haven’t seen the movie Armageddon, I can’t say I necessarily recommend it, but that reference will make a lot more sense afterward.)
I like the texture and flavor that the brown sugar and ground oats lend to these cookies. They’re very reminiscent of the good ol’ boxed animal crackers, only so much better because they’re made from scratch! I used my food processor to pulverize the rolled oats as finely as it could manage. The result was tasty, but you can definitely see specks of oats throughout the dough. If that isn’t what you want (or you just don’t feel like dirtying your food processor), you can use oat flour instead (available [here]).
The dough is easy to handle and to roll out. I love the little circus animal cookie cutters that I have (you can find them [here])!
Overall, these are quick and easy to make, and you can have a handful without feeling too badly about it (and then let your kids have a handful when they catch you). I suggest enjoying them with a big glass of milk.
Note: in this batch, the zebra beat the odds and won the battle in the savannah. Lions schmions.
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Homemade Animal Crackers
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup finely ground rolled oats (see recipe note)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (12 Tbsp or 1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine flour, ground oats, and baking soda in small bowl. Mix to combine.
- Beat butter, sugar, honey, & vanilla in mixer bowl until combined. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
- Working with one disk of dough at a time, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out to approximately 1/4" thickness. Cut as desired, and transfer cookies to baking sheets, placing about 1" apart. Scraps can be gathered and re-rolled.
- Bake 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned, rotating the cookie sheets at the halfway point. Cool on baking sheets until set, then remove cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.