Non-rolled cookies that taste like animal crackers?

elba1April 7, 2014

Hi folks, I had a hankering for animal crackers. Artificial ingredients give me hives, and my son is allergic to nuts, so I don't buy cookies. I googled "animal cracker recipes," but I really didn't want to shape a gazillion little cookies, so I used one of the recipes, and just spread it in a jelly roll pan. They came out ok, but not quite what I was looking for (used oatmeal, and they looked a little lumpy - I know it's because they weren't meant to spread). Do you have a cookie recipe that would kind of taste like animal crackers, but doesn't need to be rolled and shaped? Thanks!

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Don't have a copy-cat recipe, but I do have a process note. You might try rolling the dough into a 1-1/2 or 2-inch log (or several short logs, depending on how much dough the recipe makes), wrap it in waxed paper/parchment paper/plastic wrap (your choice) and refrigerate for an hour or so, until it's well chilled. Now you can cut the dough log with a sharp knife into thin rounds (a thin flat metal bench knife/bench scraper works really well for this task if you happen to own one). I would also dock (pierce with a fork) each round to help keep them flat while baking. If memory serves me, lemon is the identifying flavoring in animal crackers.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 4:38AM
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Just what i was about to suggest. Especially letting them rest in the fridge at least a couple hours. But is it not the cute shapes that give that special flavor? ; )
Most cookie/crackers need the edges and the poke in the middle to give the baked crisp. The nook and cranny theory. The poke to keep from puffing too much.
When i see a coarse grain or oat in a copy-cat recipe i like to give it a run in the spice grinder.
I also remember lemon.

My nieces are 21 and 24 so it was probably 12 yrs ago when we made copy-cats.
(they have not visited this home at the same time) so at least 10yrs ago
Lemon animals, chocolate(probably carob)animals, graham crackers, and the favorite, cheez-its. I only have the tiny tin of leaves cutters and when that got tedious we rolled, chilled and sliced, then pressed a bit like a thumb-print. We also made an oreo type cookie for ice-cream sandwiches.

Not in my pepperplate/computer but i do have them at home in my handwritten book...
I'll look tonight. I'm curious what recipe i used. I'm guessing lemon and vanilla, maybe nutmeg.

It seems 90% of the FDA recall list are undeclared dairy and nuts. Factories that process multiple snacks back to back tend to contaminate each other.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:20AM
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Thanks a lot. It did cross my mind to roll, chill & slice the dough, but I wanted them "now" :). I wouldn't have known the importance of poking them, so that is a good tip. I don't have lemon extract - wondering if a squeeze of lemon, or some lemon rind would do, as I always have lemons? I did use some allspice and vanilla. The King Arthur recipe (I didn't use that one) feedback says the "princess cake and cookie flavor" is key, but that has artificial ingredients. Sleevendog, I would like your recipe if you find it, thanks. So the three good modifications I would try next time are to add lemon, roll/chill/slice, and poke. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:05AM
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I'll find it. I know exactly where it is. You might want to think ahead, prep ahead, and make a big batch, once you find something he likes, and freeze some rolls. Quick thaw and bake fresh. Takes a bit to get a good mix that is good.

I have whole meyer lemons in the freezer that i grated last night over roasted chicken just out of the oven and it was fab...and over the white bean salad. (i just learned that tip here a few weeks ago)

I have lemon, lime, and orange concentrate i recently purchased, though not used yet...forget i have it. If he has a favorite flavor it would be worth looking for it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:21AM
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I've never bought meyer lemons, but just saw them the other day at TJ's - great idea - I'm roasting chicken this afternoon!
I always have homemade cookies in the freezer since I don't buy any. If I kept them on the counter, they would get eaten way too fast. This way, the kids (well not just the kids lol) just defrost a couple after dinner or something.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:27PM
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You can make your own lemon concentrate by reducing the juice a little at a low temperature, then freezing in an ice cube tray, or even just a bottle in the fridge if you'll use it up fast. If your ice cube tray isn't sealed, it'll evaporate more in the freezer, but it becomes sticky when all the water's gone, so it's best to unmold into a zipper bag or airtight container at some point. It's wonderful stuff.

This blog has some simple instructions for making homemade extracts (concentrated, infused alcohol)>.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Interesting, and thanks for the link!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 3:17PM
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I freeze in ice cube trays also. In the fall after all the harvest...with fresh chopped herbs, then transfer to zip-locks. All out of that. I add it to the finish of soups and such all winter. But now have the frozen meyer lemon.

Interesting. The recipe i found must have been from a grocery checkout magazine just before their visit....'make familiar snacks from scratch!'
Near identical to the KingArthur recipe but used a tbsp of lemon concentrate, (from a frozen can). Not what i would use today. I would use my own or my grated meyer lemon.
And tbsp of vanilla. Seems like allot but was good with the citrus.

The chocolate version was just a note at the end...replace some of the flour with 3 tbsp cocoa powder and dot/press each cookie with a 'tiny' choc chip. "no lemon, just vanilla"

1 cup granola oats ground, -must mean i used what i always have and ground them in my spice grinder.

+note at end said "try brown sugar next time"...

The only one i have used since is the cheez-nip.

Here is a link that might be useful: KingArthur recipe

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Thanks, I did see the King Arthur one, but skipped it because of the princess cake & cookie flavor, but if I just use lemon & vanilla instead, I'll try that one next time.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 3:46PM
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