Does anyone remember the cute little box of animal crackers? The package was a little box covered in illustrations of circus animals, complete with a little string to hold it by. Inside, of course, was full of fun animal crackers.
Recalling my own fun memories, I thought this would be such a cute gift to give my brother, Nate, for Christmas, but I wanted to try making a healthier, homemade version. I found a recipe to try and fiddled with it to make it my own. Then, I printed off a cute poem I found in one of my favorite books, and set about recreating my own animal cracker box. Then, I found the cutest animal cracker cookie cutters on Amazon, and filled the box with homemade animal crackers. Animal Cookie Cutters
I was recently reading in one of my favorite poetry books, and found this fun poem!
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers I think;
When I’m grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do YOU choose when you’re offered a treat?
When Mother says, ‘What would you like best to eat?’
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It’s cocoa and animals that I love most!
The kitchen’s the cosiest place that I know;
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.
Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don’t have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said, he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea.
Though I don’t recommend consistent indulgent of animal crackers and cocoa for supper, just once or twice is such a magical treat.
Be inspired to spend time with your kids, siblings, nieces, nephews, whoever! Read the poem aloud and make some cookies.
Don’t want to purchase the animal cracker cookie cutters, or spend time making the little box? Don’t! Use simple cookie cutters that you already have.
It’s easy to have fun and make memories-don’t over complicate it. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed or make up an excuse- but it’s about spending time together-not making a cookie that’s Instagram worthy.
Though these homemade animal crackers are super cute and fun, there are so many ways to spend a special moment together, here are some other simple ideas:
Want a few more ideas for spending together?
You might like this blog post with our List of Simple Ideas for spending time at home. Nothing complicated, just easy fun for the whole family!
Homemade Animal Cracker Recipe
- Try adding some spices to your cookies for a warm, almost oatmeal cookie like flavor.
- Want your cookies to taste like the original animal crackers? Add 2-4 drops of lemon essential oil, or 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
- Chill the cut out cookies for 30 minutes to an hour to help them retain their shapes clearly.
- Share with kiddos!
Other Pairing Ideas
- Try pairing these cookies with tea, such as Vanilla, Chai, or English Breakfast.
- These cookies go well with a cheese such as KerryGold’s Dubliner.
Animal Crackers Cookies
- 12 tbsp Butter, softened, you can also use coconut oil, though the cookies may not hold their shape as well
- ¼ cup Sugar- you can use coconut or succant
- 3 tbsp Honey
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1½ cups Flour- White flour or Sprouted Flour
- 1 cup 1 cup Oat Flour or Finely Ground Rolled Oats
- ½ tsp Spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cardamon (Optional) See "Best Tips" above
- 4 drops Lemon Essential Oil (Optional) See "Best Tips" above
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest (Optional) See "Best Tips" above
- Whip the first six ingredients together: Butter, sugar, honey, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and spices if using.
- Mix in the flour and oats, until combined.
- Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half slightly to make a disk, then wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for about an 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease several baking sheets, or line them with parchment. (We love to use parchment)
- Take one of your chilled disks, and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, until about ¼ of an inch thick.
- Dip animal cookie cutters in flour, then use them to cut the dough, pressing down the tamper to imprint them. Redust the cutters as needed. Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets- I broke off several giraffe necks when moving them to the pan!
- Optional: Chill the cookies for 10-15 minutes in the fridge or freezer. This will help them keep their fun shape.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until just becoming golden around the edges.
- Allow the cookies a moment to cool on the pan before transfering to a cooling rack, as they are delicate and may break.
Recipe adapted from King Author’s Flour.
(If you purchase the cookies cutters, feel free to try their included recipe)
DIY Animal Cracker Box
- Download the template
- Print the Animal Cracker Box below. You can print it onto cardstock, or simply glue it to thick cardstock.
- Cut out.
- Assemble with glue.
- Punch a hole in each end.
- Add your string, I used yarn.