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One of the most nostalgic childhood snacks of all-time is undoubtedly animal crackers. There are several brands on the market now but back when I was a kid the only game in town was Barnum’s Animal Crackers by Nabisco. Who could forget the little red box with circus animals on the front of the package and the delicate string handle. I must have enjoyed eating the crackers but what I really remember is how much I loved carrying that box around like a little purse!
These Maple Flax Animal Cracker are a healthier version of this iconic treat. They’re gluten-free and contain no refined sugar because they’re sweetened with pure maple syrup. If you have young children these would be a great healthy snack to put in their lunch boxes.
This recipe for Maple Flax Animal Crackers makes about 200 cookies! It’s a little tedious to cut and bake that many animal crackers at one time so I usually divide the dough into 4 pieces, bake 1, and freeze the other 3 for later. A lot of recipes for cookies will typically call for the dough to be rolled out to a thickness of ¼ inch but because these animal crackers are so small you’ll want to roll the dough a little bit thinner than that, closer to 1/6 inch. One tool I love for rolling out dough to a perfect, even, thickness is this rolling-pin.
Maple Flax Animal Crackers are so delicious with a glass of milk. Dipping them into milk softens them a bit so that they literally melt in your mouth. It’s so easy to keep popping these into your mouth. Good thing one serving equals 16 crackers! For another copycat recipe of an iconic childhood snack, check out Gluten-Free Parmesan Fish Crackers.
If you make Maple Flax Animal Crackers don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
- 2½ cups (340 grams) all-purpose gluten-free baking flour (see notes #1), plus extra for rolling out the crackers
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line one or more baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the gluten-free baking flour, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla, and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Divide the dough into 4 batches (it may be sticky) and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or freeze if not rolling out the same day (see notes #2).
- Dust a surface with some of the gluten-free baking flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about ⅙ inch. Stamp out shapes using animal cracker cookie cutters and place on the baking sheet(s). See notes #3.
- Bake on the bottom rack(s) of the oven for 10-12 minutes until the crackers are golden brown on the bottom but still pale on top.
- Makes about 200 (1-inch) animal crackers
2. Because this recipe makes so many crackers, I like to roll out and bake ¼ of the dough and freeze the remaining batches for later.
3. You should be able to fit about 50 animal crackers on a standard size half sheet pan (18 x 13 in.)
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