Okay, have a seat my friend. Then again, you probably are already sitting down as you read this so humor me here and re-enact the motion of sitting down. So I’ve been super inspired this week. I’m reconnecting with my original roots here on Fork & Beans. Through this mini facelift that I just underwent–the website, not my literal face (which by the way don’t you love the new logo?! Kat did such a beautiful job is the BEST designer in the world! Pardon me but I needed to shout that out). Oh man, I have derailed haven’t I? I do that way too often… So I have been reminiscing through some old recipes and became all nostalgic when I came across my Childhood Favorites section which inevitably began the thought process of all the recipes that I still had on my list of things to recreate and just never got around to it. Until today, that is. Homemade Animal Crackers, to name just one the of many recipes that was created. Eeeeeee.
Yeah I said it, it’s one of many. Well, three to be exact–is that still considered “many”? It sure felt like it today in my kitchen. But these homemade animal crackers, friends! It’s blowing my mind right now and making me all sorts of crazy because they taste just like the real deal. These gluten, egg, and dairy-free animal crackers taste like you just brought them home from the store. If I could do a cartwheel right now I would….
I know what you are thinking, “She can’t even do a cartwheel?” (look, it’s a balance issue one of which I lack and it’s besides the point–I’m sensitive about that issue <I’m not really>) You heard me though, when I just confessed that I made for YOU the most tastiest homemade gluten, egg, and dairy-free Animal Crackers recipe, right?? Listen to me, I’m so ecstatic that even my grammar is suffering.
- 1/4 c. vegan butter, room temp
- 3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce, room temp
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 2 Tbsp. warm water - thickened for 5 minutes)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 c. Cara's Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- generous pinch of nutmeg (this is what makes these cookies utter perfection) and a less generous pinch of cinnamon
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl, vigorously whip the butter with the back of your fork until fluffy (2 minutes). Add the applesauce and sugar and fluff until well-combined (another minute). Add the flax "egg" and vanilla and whisk until blended in.
- Add the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients as you constantly stir it in until you create a nice cookie dough.
- Divide the dough into 3 smooth balls and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Between 2 more pieces of parchment paper, roll one ball of dough out to 1/4" thickness. Using mini animal cookie cutters, cut out your cookies. If you'd like to make them a little more realistic, simply use a toothpick to create an eye for each animal.
- Place on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the edges begin to lightly brown.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack and devour.
- Makes 90 animal crackers
- Store in an air-tight container--will keep fresh for up to 1 week (yeah, like you are going to have them around that long).
It’s the best blend I have experimented with, honest to the big G. Now if you want to you use your own blend or mix up the flours, feel free to do so–always understand that your results might be different. Nothing is guaranteed in this crazy world of gluten-free vegan baking. Need help with substitutions? Check out this Guide to Gluten-Free Flours. Oh and I also used these adorable cookie cutters if you feel so inclined to use the same!
Surprise your little ones (or the little one who still remains within you) with these homemade animal crackers today! Oh, and do a cartwheel in my honor, would ya?