2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup dehydrated cane juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter
¼ cup water
Don’t you hate it when you see a recipe that looks delicious, and you’re looking through the ingredients, and you suddenly see some unheard-of item that you’ll need? And, doesn’t it make it even worse if the item isn’t sold at the usual place where you buy baking supplies? I hate that, too, but I’m hoping that you can get over the fact this one time. Because your kids are going to adore animal crackers – even chocolate ones – that you make for them. There is one ingredient on the list that will require you to go to a health food store but that’s not a big problem, is it?
You remember animal crackers, don’t you? They’re actually small cookies – called “crackers” – and they’re shaped like assorted animals. The recipe, when you have all of the ingredients, is actually very easy to prepare. You can make regular animal crackers, chocolate ones, cinnamon animal cookies, and others, depending on what you want.
Put 2-1/4 cups of whole wheat flour in a large bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon baking powder, a half-teaspoon of baking soda, a half-teaspoon salt, and a half-teaspoon cinnamon. If you want the animal crackers to be chocolate, add a third-cup of cocoa. Set aside for now.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and turn on a burner. Melt a stick of butter completely and then stir in a teaspoon of vanilla, four tablespoons of honey, and a quarter-cup of water. Pour the mixture, along with a half-cup of dehydrated cane juice (there it is – the elusive ingredient), into the dry ingredient bowl and stir well, until a dough ball is formed.
Lay out parchment paper and the dough. Roll it out to be about a quarter-inch thick. Use tiny, animal cookie cutters to cut the shapes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until brown, then shut the oven off, and leave the animal crackers in there for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
Serve the animal crackers as they are or frost them. Put them on a plate for a party or in old fashioned animal cracker boxes that resemble those from years ago. Make the boxes yourself, print them out from a website, or just buy the boxes online.
There’s something about animal crackers that makes a child so happy. It’s not that they’re the most tasty cookie ever, or that they’re extra special in any other way. They’re just cute, yummy, and worth going to the health store for that one unusual ingredient…