old school animal crackers

this past weekend, a last-minute opportunity arose to catch a nyc performance by an out-of-town friend.


sometimes, i like to bring the equivalent of a hostess gift for when we say hi after the performance. with three hours to spare, i thought cookies might be fun to make.


i wanted to do something nostalgic, but not boring like chocolate chips. IMG_3208 i thought that animal crackers (like the old-fashioned kind that came in the little circus box) with mace and nutmeg and a nice royal icing glaze, might be just the ticket.



Animal Crackers

Adapted from Williams Sonoma


352g (2.75 cups) Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground mace

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup /1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

200g (1 cup) granulated cane sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon Lorann Princess Cake and Cookie Emulsion (vanilla paste, or vanilla extract are fine to substitute)


  1. Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and mace. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly adding the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and flavoring and beat for 1 minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to form a ball in the bowl, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the dough out on your work surface and divide into 4 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  5. Place the chilled dough disk on a lightly floured counter or Silpat and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it sit a little longer at room temperature.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  7. Line a baking sheet or half sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Using cookie cutters cut out the shapes. I spring press cutters that emboss a design on the cut dough. Gather up the scraps, reroll and cut out more cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature. One dough disk makes about 24 -36 cookies depending on cutter size.

I frost these with thinned royal icing.

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