An old childhood favorite, animal crackers, gets a healthy makeover while maintaining its charm. Made with whole grains, naturally sweetened, and naturally colored, these cookies are a feel-good treat.
For the Animal Cracker Cookies:
- 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2 tablespoons milk powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
Animal Cracker Cookies:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and honey at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add egg and vanilla and beat at medium to combine. Add half of the flour mixture to mixer and beat at low until nearly combined, add remaining flour mixture and beat until completely combined.
Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a disk, and wrap tightly; chill in refrigerator for at least two hours for overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thick.
Stamp out dough with cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets spacing ½-inch apart. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until cookies are golden and crisp around the edges, 10–12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Reroll remaining dough and repeat until all is used.
Mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until smooth; divide glaze into three separate bowls. Whisk ground strawberries into one bowl until smooth. Whisk matcha powder into another bowl until smooth and whisk turmeric in last bowl until smooth; adding more of each ingredient, respectively, until desired hue is reached.
Brush glaze on cooled cookies, let glaze dry until firm then store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To make oat flour, process old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor until a fine meal is formed.
The amount of oats you use yields the same amount of flour, so you’ll need 1 cup oats for this. I like to grind a few cups at a time and store the remaining for future use, it saves time down the road!
Bob’s Red Mill has an oat flour product, I haven’t used it in these cookies, but that should work here as well.
As you should with any flour, make sure to fluff the flour before spooning it into your measuring cup to avoid packing and over measuring.