The Partiologist: Animal Crackers!

Animal Crackers!

Happy Monday Morning!  Decided to start the week with another simple treat I made for the Circus.  I could have taken the easy way out, but I'm really glad I didn't!  These little circus animals were soooo good.  In fact they were some of the favorite treats of the circus.  And even before the circus.  And I have plans to use this recipe again and again and again! 

Homemade Animal Crackers
I found the cutters at Williams Sonoma a few years ago.  And the recipe I used was on the box. 

Animal Crackers Recipe


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. mace
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and mace. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

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 pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Place each dough disk between 2 clean, large pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If the dough cracks while rolling, let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes more.) Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Dip circus cookie cutters into flour just before using and cut out the shapes. Hold each cutter over a prepared baking sheet and lightly depress the plunger to remove the cutout; the plunger will also imprint the tops of the cookies. Freeze the baking sheets for 15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Gather up the scraps, reroll and cut out more cookies.

Bake the cookies until very light golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature. Makes about 20 cookies of each shape.
Just followed the directions, only didn't need to bake near as long as it called for.  Watch them closely.

Made some labels and packaged them up~

From Me to You!
(Or you could buy the cute little animal cracker boxes)
Bake or Buy?


  1. I LOVE ANIMAL CRACKERS!! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Oh Lisa, if you love animal crackers - these are really, really good! :)

  2. Just went to Williams Sonoma and learned that they don't sell these spring loaded cookie cutters anymore for lack of interest. Too bad you didn't post this a year ago so we could have kept them in business. I, for one, never heard of spring loaded cutters. They do have "cars" from the movie on sale right now for ten dollars instead of twenty dollars. I'm so sad, I'd love to be able to make "animal crackers". Maybe I'll just have to come up with some other little thing....small stars, small something else...just use a fork to poke them I guess.

    Great post though and looking forward to tasting the recipe.

    1. I think I found some cutters that will work for this from Fancy Flours - They taste so good they are worth making!

    2. Made the cookies with these spring loaded cookie cutters. Recipe tastes fabulous (wasn't sure about the mace but it added oomph. The cutters worked like a charm. Wish I could post a picture here.

  3. Thanks Kim for taking the time to find some similar cutters. I just ordered them and I hope my great grandkids will get to enjoy them for many years ahead. I'm anxious to give them a taste myself.

  4. who knew???? These are just adorable. I love love love animal crackers and so do my kids. To bad for WS they didn't keep them around. What a fun addition to the circus party. from, twobeautifulgirls.

  5. These are so awesome!!! They look like they're nice and crunchy like store-bought animal crackers. Sometimes I still buy those little boxes with the string on them just because I think they're so cute!!

  6. Oh my gosh! I thought you bought those cookies. Pays to buy something cute when you see it. Never know when you'll use it. Super cute cookies.


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