Photo Credit to Amanda of The Cilantropist Blog
These days, junk food abounds and when you have children, it can be a battle to make sure they eat right. So when I came upon this Whole Grain Animal Crackers recipe by Amanda of The Cilantropist Blog, I knew I had to share it. What I liked about this recipe is first that it’s kid-friendly. It’s a fun activity that you can do with your children plus it’s a way to teach them the importance of cooking with whole foods as opposed to just from a box. Also, the fact that it’s a wholegrain cookie with both wheat and flax definitely makes it a healthier snack alternative with the added fun of being able to bite off a lion’s head (or two). Click here to see the original recipe post.
After checking out this recipe, be sure to pay a visit to Amanda’s blog and take a look at the Recipe Index. There you’ll see everything from appetizers all the way to desserts. Some that caught my eye include the Island Mango Muffins, Spiced Lemon-Cilantro Chicken Soup and her Homemade Marshmallows and Graham Crackers. From her profile, Amanda mentions that her love of cooking comes from her grandmother who taught her that feeding others well means loving them well and from what I could tell from the beautiful photographs and reading through our posts, grandma taught her well.
Whole Grain Animal Crackers
1/4 tsp Simply Organic Ground Nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1 large egg
*If you don’t have ground flaxseed, you can grind flax in a spice grinder, or you could substitute finely ground nuts
Special equipment: Animal cracker cookie cutters or any small cookie cutters you have available
In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar for about 2-3 minutes, then add the egg and vanilla extract and continue to mix. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) in two additions, and then mix until the flour is just incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball; flatten the dough ball into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm up for a few minutes; then roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or starts to crack, just dust the top of the dough with a little flour.
To cut out the animal shapes, dip each cutter in flour, then press into the dough. (I find if I press it into the dough, and then wiggle it from side to side a bit, it helps me to remove the dough surrounding each animal.) If you are using the cutters from Williams and Sonoma, you will press the cutter into the dough, and then depress the plunger to imprint the animal features. Working quickly and carefully, use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the lined baking sheet. You don’t want the dough to get too warm and stick, but the cookies are also delicate and can break easily. (Squeeze together any dough scraps and put them back in the fridge to re-roll for your next cookie batch.)
Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 30-40 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes; then bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are just lightly golden and cookie is slightly puffed. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to allow cookies to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about 1 week.
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