This is the perfect recipe to post this week as we talk about labels and their fluidity.
For example: is an animal cracker still an animal cracker if it’s not shaped like an animal?? Bet you never thought about that one before, did you 🙂
Well, it was indeed a question in my brain these last few weeks. You see….I’m pretty obsessed with animal crackers. They are one of my favorite foods, but because of their typical ingredients/health profile, they’re not something that’s part of my regular diet.
But you give my a bowl of animal crackers….and I will be a happy woman.
So anyway, after realizing that even the “health food” brands of animal crackers were made with oils I don’t like to use in my cooking (safflower, canola, sunflower, and sometimes even worse), I decided it was time to make my own.
I had remembered making a homemade animal cracker a quite a few years back from 101 Cookbooks, but it has been years. But after a few weeks of some intense animal cracker cravings, I decided it was time to try my hand at it once more.
One of the biggest questions on my mind was whether these homemade animal crackers would actually taste like animal crackers, especially because the ingredients differed so much. And while the texture was definitely different, it was decided (by both me and my husband) that they’re *close enough* to animal cracker flavor that they warranted the title.
And so today, I present you with a vegan animal cracker that doesn’t have to be shaped like animals. Because frankly it’s easier to cut the dough out into squares so you don’t have to re-roll the extra dough over and over.
Thank you for your understanding that these animal crackers are neither shaped like animals nor exactly the flavor of regular animal crackers, but can still conjure up the same good feelings that your traditional animal cracker can. Enjoy!
Vegan Animal Cracker Recipe
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
- 1 tbsp flax seed meal
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- Mix the flax seed meal with the water and set aside.
- Grind up the coconut and almond to create a fine meal.
- Combine coconut and almond with salt and whole wheat pastry flour.
- In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar for about 2-3 minutes, until well-incorporated and smooth.
- Add the flax seed/water mixture to the sugar/coconut oil mixture and mix well.
- Add flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture, mixing *just* until combined.
- Gather the dough into two balls, flatten into thick disks, and wrap each disk with plastic wrap.
- Place the wrapped disks into the fridge for about an hour or the freezer for about 30 minutes or until dough is hardened.
- When you're ready to take out the dough, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Remove a disk from the fridge or freezer, and place on a well-floured surface. Softly roll out the dough until it's about ¼ inch thick. If the dough starts to crack keep smooshing it back together, as the dough warms, it will roll smoothly.
- Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut out the cookies and place them on a baking sheet - preferably with about ½ inch between each cookie.
- Bake about 7-8 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and cool.